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INDIAN RESEARCH INSTITUTE PUBLICATIONS

FINE ARTS SERIES-No. 2


BAR HUT
BOOK 11
JATAKA-SCENES
INDIAN
BY
BENIMADHAB BARUA, M.A .. D. LIT. (LoNo.)
Professor, Department of Pali, Lecturer, Departments of Sanskrit and Ancient
Indian History and Culture, Univers:ty of Calcutta, formerly a
Government of India Scholar, and author of "Gaya and
y S 6 1.;;(. L Buddha-Gaya." "A His,ory of Pre-Buddhistic
Indian Philosophy", "Bar hut lnscnptions",
"Old Brahml Inscriptions", etc.
CALCUTTA
1934
Published by Satis Chandra Seal, M.A., B.L., Hony. General Secretary, The Indian Research Institute,
55, Upper Chitpore Road, Calcutta, and printed by Jitendra Nath De, at
The Sreekrishna Printing Works, 259, Upper Chitpore Road, Calcutta.
f
'
I
f
I
I
IN MEMORY OF
RADHARANI
THE ONLY LITTLE DAUGHTER
OF
Dr. B. C. LAW
-a distinguished Scholar and Patron of Buddhistic
Studies in India at whose instance this work
was undertaken and under whose
genial care it developed.
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L! 8 Y, N E. \v l. ... ... ' I.
;.. "' '\o :;:?.f:,L:C}
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.J....',.I.T.G .................. :.i'l'( ...
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' ;:. . .J..' o . ..... ..... :'. . .......................... -
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PREFACE
In offering Bar hut Book 11-Jataka Scenes to the reading public, I take the
opportunity of correcting a mistake (Bk. I. P. 3) in the naming "Outer Railing"
for which Cunningham is responsible. According to Sir John Marshal!, the remains
are not of any outer but of a Berm Railing of the same pattern as one finds at the
base of the Sanchi Stapas. The term "outer" being inappropriate, the term "inner",
used in contradistinction to "outer", loses its signifkance. Consequently, the Barhut
Railing is the simple term by which the main enclosure should be denoted.
The publication of this Book brings my prolonged study of the monument of
Barhut with its central mound, railings, gateways, inscriptions and sculptures to an
end. The Book Ill, however, will contain the illustrations serially numbered for
reference in both the books.
Calcutta University, 1
October, 15, 1934. 5
B. M. BARUA
PUBLISHER'S NO fE
The Indian Research Institute is now in a position to publish Book 11 of
Professor Barua' s monograph-Barhut as the second number of its fine Arts Series
publications.
The Institute is grateful to its Vice-President Dr. B. C. Law, M.A., B.L., Ph.D.,
Jr his kind patronage and generous help in enabling the Institute to undertake these
ostly publications.
he Indian Research Institute (
October, 15, 1934. S
SATIS CHANDRA SEAL

CONTENTS
Section I
Scenes of Bodhi Trees
Section 11
Scenes from Buddha Sakyamuni' s life
Seetion Ill
Outline of Buddha's Life
r
Pages I
I-7
8-176
I
177-178
BAR HUT
BOOK 11
JATAKA-SCENES
SECTION I
SCENES OF BODHI-TREES IN INCULCATION OF THE MAHAPADANA
DOCTRINE OF BUDDHOTPADA-DHARMATA
1. Pl. XXIX. 1 [Scene 26] :-Bhagavato Vipasino Bodhi
1

"The Bodhi-T rec of the Divine Master Vipa:,chit."
This is the label of a medallion-carving depicting the scene of Bodhi-T1t:e of
Buddha Vipaschit. The tree, according to Buddhist tradition, is no other than
The Bodhi-Tree of Patali, Bignonia Suoveolens or the famous Trumpet-Flower.
Vipakhit syr boltcal What we here have, as Cunningham observes
2
, is a full front-view
of his hfe-history. of the tree in flower preventing its identification from its represen-
tation. The throne of the Buddha at the foot and in front of the tree is an elevated
platform of solid structure, apparently a cubical jewel-seat, bearing some auspicious
leaf and flower marks, the leaves and flowers appearing to be no other than those
of the Bodhi-Tree. The trunk and upper part of the tree are of the
same height. The sculptor has delightfully represented its wealth of flowers
blossomin'iS in bunches, distributed harmoniously over the balloon-shaped foliage.
The scene presents on two opposite sides of the tree and throne two groups of
worshippers, one group of five on the right side, and the other one of six on the left.
All the worshippers appear to be male deities, one of whom, on each side, is bowing
down, one is offering a garland, two on the right side are making demonstrations of
the wealth of flowers of the tree, while the remaining worshippers are in a standing
attitude of devotion
3

None need be surprised if the motif is meant to represent really a group of
flve or six worshippers performing an act of circumambulation, making offerings and
I Barua Sinha, No. 135. 2 Stupa of Bharhut, p. 46. 3 Srupa of Bharhut, p. 113.
'
2
BAR HUT
bowing down by turns, one after another, the offerings consisting of garlands and
bunches of flowers. So far as the representation of the Bodhi-Tree is concerned,
it has reference to the subject-matter of such a Discourse as the Mahapadana, while
the act of devotion cannot be explained by any other Canonical Discourse than the
Atanatiya.
Compared with Buddhaghosha' s description, the Barhut picture of the Bodhi-Tree
is rather a simple representation. According to his description, the trunk of Patali,
the Bodhi-Tree of Vipaschit, rose aloft to a height of 50 ratnas (cubits), while its
branches towered 50 ratnas high, giving the tree a total height of 100 ratnas. It was
uniformly decked with bunches of flowers from its bottom to its top, looking like
dome-shaped earrings. All the Patali trees in the ten thousand world-systems were
at the same time adorned with flowers, nay, all the trees and plants shared this
glorious fortune. The earth and oceans were covered with varieties of lotuses of all
colours. The flags and banners were hoisted in rows. Here and there one might
see the sights of celestial groves, the Chitralata, the Nandana, and the rest. It is in-
deed in a very charming way that the quarters and the world-systems participated in
the eclat of festive decoration.
2 :-The scene of the Bodhi-Tree of Buddha Sikhi and the label attached to
The Bodhi-Tree of
Skh\ symbolical of
his life-history.
it are probably missing. The label, if it was there, must have
been worded-Bhagavato Sikhino Bodhi\
"The Bodhi-Tree of the Divine Master Sikh!."
The Bodhi-Trees of all the Buddhas were, according to Buddhaghosha' s descrip-
tion, of equal height, The Bodhi-Tree of Sikhi was Puryqarlka, Magnifera lndica or
the White-Mango. It was adorned with fragrant flowers. It was rich in its wealth
of fruits. Its fruits in the same stage of development hung together from the same
stalk. The ripe fruits were all juicy and delicious, as if celestial delicacy was put
3. PI. XXIX. 2 [Scene 28] :-Bhagavato Vesabhuno Bodhi Salo
3

The Bodhi-Tree of "Sa la or Shorea Robusta-the Bodhi-Tree of the Divine Master
V1svabhrit symbolical y- bh . ,
f h
.
1
f h. tsva nt.
o IS 1 e I story.
The representation of the scene of the Bodhi-Tree of Buddha Visvabhrit is
similar to that of the Bodhi-Tree of Vipaschit, with this difference that it presents a
1 Barua Sinha, No. 136. 2 Sumangala-Vilasinl, Siamese Ed. 11, P. 13. 3 Barua Sinha, No. 137.
JATAKA-SCENES
3
more elaborate ornamentation and a smaller group of worshippers, just a pair of
male and female deities. The bunches of flowers and fruits of the tree are abundant
and many garlands are hanging from different branches and joints. The pair of
worshippers is so represented that, on each side, if the male worshipper is standing up,
the female worshipper is bowing down, i. e., kneeling beside the Bodhimal)Qa, and
vice versa. The offering made by the male worshipper is a basket of flowers/
and that by the female worshipper is a long piece of garland. Here we Rnd a
double artistic device for representing kinds of offering made and act of adoration by
turns. The act of circumambulation is an essential part of Bodhi-vandana. The
upper part of the trunk is adorned with ornamented Dharmachakra and Triratna
symbols, both of which are crowned by umbrellas with hanging garlands. There is in
front the throne of the Buddha which is a solid structure, similar to that of
and is enriched with impressions of the fruit and garland offerings placed upon it.
The frieze on the front side of the throne contains a double chain-work design with
three parallel rows of lotuses, set up or suspended like bells.
4. PI. XXIX 3 [Scene 29] :-Bhagavato Kakusadhasa Bodhi.
2
The Bodhi-Tree of "The Bodhi-Tree of the Divine Master Kakutsandha."
K1kutsandha sym
bohcal of his hfe- The Bodhi-Tree of Buddha Kakutsandha is, according to tradition,
history. Sirisha or Acacia. Like the Puo<;larlka and the Sala, the Sirlsha
abounded, as Buddhaghosha describes iC, in fruits and flowers. The lower
portion of the throne in front of the tree is lost, while the upper part
presenting the full view of the tree and the scene of worship is in good
preservation. The small leaves and large bunches of flowers arc characteristic,
says Cunningham
4
, of the tree Acacia Sirisa. But the bunches of fruits and
hanging garlands are also among its notable features. The throne usually
bears the leaf and flower marks. The trunk of the tree is not adorned with any
auspicious symbol. Here, too, one has just one pair of worshippers, the male
kneeling beside the throne as an act of devotion, while the female standing beside the
tree is making a demonstration of the length and size of the garlands, precisely as, on
the opposite side, :the female is bowing down in a kneeling posture, while the male
standing up is demonstrating the abundance of flowers and fruits. Excepting the
inverted order of groupings, the scene of worship and circumambulation is similar to
that in the preceding representation.
I Cunningham says it is a bowl. St'Jpa of Bharhut, p. I I 4. 2 Barua Sinha, No. I 38.
3 Sumangala-Vtlasin[, Siamese Ed., p. I3, 4 Stupa of Bharhut, pp. 46, I I4.
4 BAR HUT
5. PI. XXIX. 1 [Scene 30] :-Bhagavato Konagamanasa Bodhi.
1
The BJdhi-Tree of "The Bodhi-Tree of the Divine Master KoQagamana."
KoQ1igamana sym
boli::al of his life- The Bodhi-Tree of Buddha KoQagamana is Udumbara, Ficus
history. Glomereta or the Fig. According to Buddhaghosha' s description/
it cannot have flowers. This well accords with old Indian belief as expressed
in the saying-"He who sees the flower of the Fig -tree, becomes a monarch."
The Barhut representation faithfully adheres to this Indian tradition. Cunningham
says that the leaves of the tree are well-marked} He flnds the garlands
hanging from its branches. But its bunches of fruits also are clearly visible.
No one can mistake that the tree is the wellknown Ficus. It has, as usual, a
BodhimaQ<Ja in front. In this instance, the throne is supported upon pillars
with octagonal shafts. Though the worshippers, as in the preceding two scenes,
are just a pair of male and female deities, it is only the female who, on both
sides, is actually making the offering of flgs and bowing down in a kneeling attitude,
while the male remains standing, either holding in one hand the fruits of the tree put
into a receptacle for offering, or drawing attention to the garland. In spite of these
alterations, the same device for representing the scene of worship and circumambu
Iation is there.
6. PI. XXX. 1 [ Scene 31 ] :-Bhagavato Kasapasa Bodhi.
4
The BJdhi-Tree of "The Bodhi Tree of the Divine Master Kasyapa."
Kasyapa symbolical
of his life-history Though the label does not mention the name, the general form and
visibly drawn leaves and fruits leave no room for doubt that it is the traditional Bodhi
Tree of Buddha Kasyapa; we mean Nyagrodha, Ficus lndica or the Banyan. lt does
not bear flowers.;; Like the Figtree, it is adorned with hanging garlands. The Bodhi-
maQ<Ja in front is a solid structure. Here, too, we meet with one pair of worshippers,
the male deity remaining, on both sides, in a standing position, either simply showing
a piece of garland or holding it with joined hands. On the right side, the female
worshipper sitting on a morha, is eagerly and amazedly looking up and watching how
beautifully the garlands are hanging down as these are being set up by the male. She,
on the left side, is kneeling before the tree as an act of homage touching its trunk with
her hands.
6
Can it be doubted that also, in this instance, we have a slightly altered
design of the same scene of worship and circumambulation ?
I Barua Sinha, No. 139.
3 StOpa of Bharhut, pp. 46, 114.
5 Sumangala-Vdasini, Siamese Ed. ll, p. 13.
2 Sumangala-Vtlasini, Siamese Ed. ll, p. 13.
4 Barua Sinha, No. 140.
6 Cf. Stupa of Bharhut, pp. 46, 114.
JA T AKA-SCENES 5
7. Pis. XXX. 3, XIII.-S. Gate. Prasenajit Pillar. Outer Face. Upper
Bas-Relief [Scene 32 J :-Bhagavato Sakamunino Bodho.
1
"The Bodhi-Tree of the Divine Master Sakyamuni."
The Bodhi-Tree of Buddha Sakyamuni, the last of the Mahapadana list of
seven Buddhas, i. e., of the Buddha who is a truly historical personage, has
The Bodhi-Tree of naturally received the most elaborate treatment. Two umbrellas
Sakyamuni symboli- are placed, one above the other, in its top. Some garlands are
ea! of his life- suspended from its branches. Its upspreading branches, well-
history. shaped leaves and small round fruits without any flowers, all having
distinct effects in the composition of its charming foliage, clearly show that
it is Asvattha, Ficus Religiosa or the Holy Pippala. The heights of its trunk
and foliage are, as represented, disproportionate, in disregard of the received
tradition of equality.
2
But the observed disproportionateness is more an appearance
than a reality. The apparent longer height is accounted for by the fact that
here the sculptor is required to represent, within the limited space at his disposal,
the tallness of the trunk prominently behind the gate-chamber of a circular
eddke, which serves as a wall surrounding the tree and provided with a barrel-
shaped vaulted roof. This roof, even in its highest elevation or altitude, i.e., the
portion of it covering the gate-chamber, remains below the foliage. The circular
edifice is a two-storeyed building, the upper storey of which is a superstructure upon
an open-pillared circumambulation-hall presenting a colonnade of two rows of pillars
with octagonal shafts and bell-capitals. The upper storey is provided, on both sides,
with corridors and large bands of Buddhist railings. There are many arched windows
or niches, each containing an umbrella with hanging garlands and set up, to all intents
and purposes, over a Bodhimaryqa or Vajrasana representation, technically known as
ratna-vedika or elevated square platform, the jewel-seat. Several of these are to
be seen on two sides, while the wing niches have, on each side, the standing figure of
a female worshipper with some kind of offerings in her hands. lt is apparent that the
corridors with protecting railings are intended to be used as passages for perambul-
ation and worship of vedikas at regular intervals. The gate-chamber presents, in its
lower storey, an open-pillared square hall. Its roof is rounded at the ends and appears
to be a barrel vault surmounted by three pinnacles, the top of it just reaching the
lowermost branches of the tree. The upper storey of the chamber has two arched
1 Barua & Smha, No. 141.
2 Fausboll, Jataka, IV, p. 229 : The standard height of t:<e lower half and the upper half is 50 cubits, the total
heisht of the tree being lOO cubits.
2
6
BAR HUT
windows on each side, without having any female figures in the wing niches. Its
dimension cannot be very large, the whole of it resting on four pillars.
1
The large square BodhimaQqa in the lower storey of the gate-chamber bears
numerous auspicious leaf and flower marks, symbolical of offerings made on it. The
front side of the throne has designs of plain arched doors or windows. The tree
itself is ornamented with two Triratna symbols that stand majestically, on two sides,
behind the throne and surmounting it. Though the tree is actually situated behind the
gate-chamber, it appears, at first sight, to break through the domed roof. In the
BodhimaQqa or Vajrasana courtyard one can notice the familiar device of representing
a pair of male and female deities circumambulating and worshipping by turns. On
the right, the female is kneeling on the throne, while the male is standing with joined
hands held on his breast. On the left, the male is kneeling on the throne, while the
female stands behind the male looking outward and holding some flowers in
her hands. lt is by suggestio falsi that one, with Cunningham/ can take the
male worshipper to the right to be a Dragon-chief distinguished by a triple
serpent-crest.
At a little distance, in front of the Vajrasana-hall and almost in line with its front
pillar on the right, there stands an isolated pillar with a bell-capital, surmounted by a
full-size standing elephant, holding a large hanging garland. This pillar has a round
shaft, retaining the vestige of the round shaft and glistening surface of isolated ~ o k a n
monoliths.
3
What adds charm to the majesty of the scene is the appearance of
two flying angels, approaching the upper foliage of the tree from two sides, one,
on the right, carrying a piece of garland, the other, on the left, carrying a receptacle
of fruit or flower offerings, both making their way through clouds ; they remain poised
in the air or hover round as an act of perambulation. Two angels, on two sides of
the tree and the upper storey of the gate-chamber, stand on the outside balcony
of the circular edifice, one, on each side, holding in the right hand in a very
characteristic manner, a long piece of overhanging folded robe, long enough to
connect the flying angel with the one standing below and pass round the back
through two elbows or arm-pits of the standing figure. Obviously the artistic
purpose is to represent the standing figures as flying angels who have descended
from the sky. Each of them, as Cunningham observes,
4
holds the tip of his
tongue and forefinger of the left hand, apparently giving whistles. Whether one
I Stiipa of Bharhut, pp. 45-46, 119-122. 2 Stiipa of Bharhut, pp. 114-115.
3 Stiipa of Bharhut, p. 122. 4 !bid, p. 114.
JAT AKA-SCENES
7
counts these angels two or four, they are probably the guardian spirits of the Bodhi-
tree (Bodhi-vriksha-devata), four of whom, Veryu, Valgu, Sumana and Ojopati, are
mentioned in the Lalita-Yistara by name.
1
The Barhut scene has nothing of
the grandeur described in the Though it points to an
earlier and simpler description, it is certainly in keeping with the tradition in the
Lalita-Vistara.
3
I Lalita-Vistara, eh. XIX. P. 347.
2 Fausboll, Jataka, I, pp. 75-76. Here the description is rather conventional and hackne;ed, being the Slrre as
that of Budhhaghosha's account of the Bodhi-Tree of Vipaschit.
3 Lalita-Vistara, eh. XIX. cf. Kalingabodhi-Jataka (F. 479).
SECTION 11
SCENES FROM BUDDHA SAKYAMUNI'S LIFE IN ILLUSTRATION
OF MAHAPADANA DOCTRINE
i. FROM AVIDORE-NIDANA--
'NOT-FAR-REMOTE SECTION'
1. PI. XIV.-S. Gate. Prasenajit Pillar. Middle Bas-Relief. Outer Face
[Scene 33]:-Purathima-disath Sudhavasa-devata.
1
[p
h
. . d" !
ac tmam tsam ................. , ...
Utarath disa[th] tini savata-nisisani
3
Dakhinath disath chha Kamavachara-sahasani.
4
"On the eastern side-the Pure-Abode [Rupa-Brahma] deities."
"On the western side ........................ ".
"On the northern side-three classes of all-pervading [Rupa-Brahmas]".
"On the southern side-six thousand Kamavacharas of six
Heavens of Lust."
This interesting scene, laid in a celestial grove, presents, in an apparent view,
four groups of deities or male gods, each of which is placed between two
D
. . ,
1
. . trees and two groups in a row, each group generally
ett1es supp catiOn.
Bodhisattva's great consisting of Hve deities. lt is possible as well to represent the
observations.
deities as standing in four parallel rows, one behind the other.
To each group or row is attached an appropriate label naming the class of deities
and the quarter assigned to it. Four labels, of which one is broken off, mention
the different classes of deities, the first three referring to sixteen classes of Rupa-
Brahmas (5 +8+3) and the fourth one to six classes of Kamavacharas. All the
deities but one are in a standing posture, with joined hands, held across their breasts.
One in the left-hand extremity of the lower row is seated on a piece of rock
under a tree, with the left leg laid across the right kept erect, pressing the right knee
towards the breast. His head rests on the palm of his left hand in a slightly
reclining position, while he holds a small n k u ~ or elephant-goad in his outstret-
ched right hand. Solemnity prevails over the entire scene. The deity seated under
the tree really stands apart from the rest. He is lost in serious thoughts, while
1-4 Barua & Sinha, Nos. 142-145.
JAT K ~ SCENES
9
others stand with joined hands. On his left side stand two Dragon-chiefs, with
serpent-crests on their turbans. In the right-hand extremity of the upper rows
is an isolated figure of a big-bellied and fat-bodied god, probably Dhritarashtra,
the guardian angel of the eastern quarter, standing in a comic fashion, placing his
right hand on the upper edge of his turban. The peculiarity of his head-dress
should not pass unnoticed. lt is the single fold of a robe so tied round his head
as to present a circular ring on the top, keeping the crown exposed to view without
a diadem above the forehead. The place assigned to him is precisely that of a
warden of the convocation. According to the literary description, this is exactly
the position of a Lokapala during a Durbar of the gods\
What is this scene ? It is obviously that of supplication of various deities,
Rupa-Brahmas and Kamavacharas, who assembled in the Tushita Heaven to
exhort the Bodhisattva to be born in the womb for salvation of the suffering world.
According to Pali legends, he, as Santushita, was then a dweller and lord of the
T ushitapura. The Lalita-Vistara
2
contains certain important details about the life
of this god, destined to become a supremely enlightened Buddha. We are told
that the Bodhisattva, then born as the god Svetaketu, was 'dwelling in the noble
mansion of T ushita, in all the glory of the place and his own godliness, praised,
eulogized, extolled and glorified by a hundred thousand devas.' While he was
calmly seated in this noble mansion, adorned with gateways, windows, buildings, one-
peaked houses and gate-chambers, bedecked with Atimuktaka, Champaka, Patali
and other trees, and moved by the music of innumerable heavenly dancers, a
hundred thousand millions and crores of deities gathered together, with their faces
and eyes turned towards him. The Bodhisattva before giving his word to the gods
made certain great observations about the time, the place, the land, the race, the
environment and the rest. Here the Barhut scene is evidently based upon a simpler
description similar to that in Pali.
2. PI. XV.-S. Gate. Prasenajit Pillar. Lower Bas-Relief. Outer Face
[Scene 34]:-Saqika-sammadam turam devanam.
3
Alambusa achhara.
4
Misakesi achhara.
5
Padumavati achhara
6
Subhada achhara.
7
1 See Maha-Govinda-Suttanta, Digha, 1!. 2 Lalita-Vistara, Ch. 1!.
3-7 Barua & Sinha, Nos. !46-150
10
BARHUT
"The jovial ravishing music of the gods, gay with dramatic acting."
"Aiambusha-the heavenly dancer."
"Misrakesi-the heavenly dancer."
"Padmavati-the heavenly dancer."
"Subhadra-the heavenly dancer."
As a supplement to deities' supplication, there is to be noticed, in the lower relief
on the same outer face of the Prasenajit Pillar, a joyous celestial scene of a grove or
D ~ i t i e s exhaltations paradise, where twelve nymphs or heavenly damsels (apsaras,
over their success. deva-kanya) are distinctly arranoed in three oroups of four each,
Forecast of
0 0
Bodhisattva's birth. one of four dancers occupying the right half, one of four singers
in the centre and upper portion of the left half, and the third one of four players on
musical instruments in the outer zone and lower corner of the left half. The singers
and players are all seated cross-legged under a tree behind them in the upper corner
to the left, while the dancers are all in a standing posture. Four labels, separately
attached to four dancers, mention their mames as Alambusha, Misrakesl, Padmavatl
and Subhadra. The label below the players clearly describes the jovial character of
the musical scene. The damsels represent ideal Indian beauties as conceived by the
Buddhists. They tastefully wear heavenly apparels, gorgeous head coverings and
ornaments over their intertwined hair-locks, earrings suspended from their ear-holes,
tattoo marks on their foreheads or on their faces, necklaces of four strings, hip-belts
or girdles of five strings, and layers of anklets. One of the players wears armlets
and three of the dancers wear bracelets, either suspended like a sacred thread or
tied together in a locket. They have tall figures, well-formed limbs, prominent hips,
lean waists, dingifled busts, bold facial expressions, well-shaped noses, and piercing
eyes. All the players are handling two varieties of stringed instruments, one of which
is VtQii or harp and the other is covered with skin. All the singers, sitting face to
ace, show clapping hands. The lithesome figures and uniform movements of the
dancers have a dramatic effect. They dance in two rows of two each, Alambusha
and Misrakesi in the front and Padmavati and Subhadra in the back row. The
chief figures among the dancers, nay, among all the damsels, is Alambusha, distingui-
shed from the rest by her turban-like head-dress, generally worn by a male. just in
front of her and midway between herself and Misrakesi we see a little boy dancing
with head-coverings, bracelets and hip-belts like those of a female. The prominence
given to Alambusha is quite in keeping with the Buddhist description of her beauty,
charm and position in the Alambusa- jataka (F. 523), where she is said to have been
selected from among two and half crores of heavenly courtezans as one capable of
11
tempting and testing the virtue of of the great ascetic vow. All the
nymphs, introduced in the scene, belong, according to classifications in the PuratJas,
to (I) Laukiki or Anthropomorphic class, and to (2) Mauneya representing a class of
temptresses of the saintly ascetics. The Lalita-Vistara and the Mahavastu
1
versions
of the Atanatiya Discourse allocate thirty-two damsels to four quarters, eight to each
quarter. According to this arrangement, Alambusha and Misrakesi have their
place in the west and Padmavati belongs to the north. The Barhut scene does
not seem to follow any such rule. The Barhut figures of twelve damsels rather
remind us of twelve chief nymphs of the older Vimana-Vatthu list} whose functions
consisted in dancing, singing, music, comic acting, display of apparels, and other
pleasing arts. Their manner of dressing, toileting, personal charms and other details
also tally with descriptions in the Buddhist Book of Stories of Heaven.
3
The subject of the scene cannot be other than that of a sequel of the deities'
exhortation to the Bodhisattva to be born in the womb. The mysterious presence
of the little boy indicates that the Bodhisattva could be induced to give his
consent after due deliberations. We mean that here we have a forecast of the
Bodhisattva' s birth. The lively scene is expressive of great rejoicings of
the deities. The presence of the nymphs and their participation in the action are
rather unusual. lt is only in the sublime poetic account of the Lalita-Vistara
that we have a grand description of the scenes where the deities expressed their
exhortation and felicity through the symphony of music, songs and dances of
millions of the nymphs\
3. PI. XXVIII. 2 [Scene 35] :-Bhagavato ukramti.
5
"The Divine Being's Descent."
Here Cunningham sees Queen Mahamaya sleeping quietly on her couch, in
the centre of the medallion, with her right hand under her head, and her left hand
Garbhavakranti : by her side. The position leaves her right side exposed. The time
Bodhisattva's descent 1 b h f f h b d
in the shape of stx- is night, as a amp is urning at t e oot o t e e , on an ornamental
tusked ele- d Th d d b h b d
phant into mother's stan . ree women are seate in atten ance y t e e , one
womb. of whom is waiving the cow-tail chauri to keep off insects.
The second has her arms extended, but for what purpose is not clear. The
third with joined hands sits in an attitude of devotion. The queen is in full costume,
with earrings, necklace, bracelets, anklets, and numerous girdles, all complete. The
I Mahavastu, Ill, pp. 308 fo\1. 2 Vimana-Vatthu, p. 47. 3 \biJ, pp. 61-62.
4 Lalita-Vistara, Ch. 11, p. 12; Ch. V, p. 58. 5 Barua & Sinha, No. !51.
12 BAR HUT
elephant has an ornamental cloth, covering the top of his head, but he carries no
flower in his trunk as in the Burmese account of his appearance before the queen.
He has only two tusks, which are marked to represent three tusks each. In none
of the representations of a similar scene found elsewhere in India has the elephant
got more than two tusks, nor does he carry a flower. The medallion represents a
scene of the Dream of Maya Devi which has a parallel in the Jaina account of the
first object seen by queen r i ~ a l a in her dream
1
This is described as an elephant with
four tusks, looking like radiant drops of dew, or a heap of pearls, or the sea of milk,
possessing a radiance like the moon, huge as the silvery mountain Vaitadhya, while
from his temples oozed out the sweet liquid that attracts the swarms of bees. Such
was the incomparably stately elephant, equal to Airavata himself, which Queen T i ~ a l a
saw, while uttering a deep sound like thunder with his trunk filled with water.
The Barhut sculpture is in a very fine state of preservation, but the workmanship is
coarse, and the position of Maya Devl is stiff and formal.
2
It is not clear from this description whether the scene is laid in Suddhodana' s
palace or elsewhere. The representation is befitting the traditional description of a
person sleeping on a splendid couch in a magnificent royal bed-chamber, where
perfumed oil-lamps are kept burning during the whole of the night.
3
But it is rather
unusual that the queen' s head is adorned with garlands instead of ornamental head-
coverings. In fact, all the apparels and ornaments that she wears go to show that
she is no longer an ordinary human being but the very goddess with some heavenly
maidens in attendance. The stiffness of her body is quite natural and artistic at the
sight of such an unusual phenomenon as an elephant descending from high to enter
her womb by penetrating her right side. This also explains why one of the maidens
extends her arms, her right hand pressing upon the upper end of a leg of the couch.
She does so apparently to prevent the queen rolling down or the couch being
unbalanced under the pressure of the descending elephant.
4
The leg held by her
hand is represented as though slipping off. The attitude of the elephant reminds one
of the slow descent of a piece of cloud in the horizon and the gentle turning of the
developed fcetus in the womb when the pain begins. According to the Lalita-Vistara
description, the elephant was of the noblest breed, having six tusks, white as snow and
silver, beetle-headed, white rows of teeth, reddish crown, and all the parts of
his body complete, proportionate, fully developed and compact, and characterised by
1 Stevenson's Kalpa-Sutra, p. 42. 2 Stlipa of Bharhut, pp. 83-84. 3 Fausboll, Jataka, I, p. 61.
4 Dr. Kramrisch would take the maid to be dozing at night.
JAT K ~ S C E N E S 13
a gentle movement. The details of the scene presuppose a story similar to one in
the ]ataka-Nidana-Katha as will appear from the following narration :-
"The people of Kapilavastu were all busy celebrating a festival in the month of
Ashaqha from the seventh day previous to the full-moon. The queen Mahamaya
enjoyed this festival for seven days in the purity of heart and external conduct. On
the last day when the full-moon set in, she bathed in fragrant water, arrayed herself
with flowers and ornaments, and taking upon herself the five vows, she retired into her
bed-chamber, where she lay herself on a royal couch, and while she was sleeping upon
it, she had a dream. In her dream she saw that the regents of the four quarters took
up the couch upon which she lay, and conveyed it to the Himalayan region, where
they placed it upon a rock under the shade of a tall Sala-tree, remaining respectfully
at a distance. The queens of these four guardian angels then bathed her with water
fetched from the lake Anavatapta to take away from her all human contaminations.
The guardian angels then took her to a rock of silver, upon which was a palace of
gold. They laid out a divine couch, placed her upon it, with her head towards the
east. When she reposed there, the Bodhisattva appeared to her in the shape of a
white elephant, like a cloud in the moonlight, coming from the north, descending from
the rock of gold and climbing up the rock of silver, making a trumpet-sound, and
carrying a white lotus in his trunk. After ascending the rock, he entered the
palace of gold, and thrice circumambulated the queen' s couch before he made his
way into her womb by her right side. She felt as though the Bodhisattva got into
her body. Thus her maternity began, enabling her to become the genetrix of the
Divine Being."
4. PI. XXIX. 5 [Scene 36].-Here we have, says Cunningham, only a fragment
of one of the broken statues in which the hand of a female is grasping the flower
Bodhisattva's birth and leaf of a Sala tree, a portion of the fruit being also visible in
at Lumbin! ( ? l its upper part. He also observes that the representation of the
flowers, though somewhat conventional, is sufficiently true to the general form and
appearance to be easily recognised.
lt is true that the surviving fragment presents a drooping branch of a tree in
flower, there being several bunches of flowers blossoming on an oval-shaped foliage,
one of which is held on the palm of the right hand of a female figure to the right. Is
the tree really a Sala ? If it were so, there is no reason why its leaves and flowers
should be different from those of the Sala trees so distinctly represented in three other
scenes ? Why should we not take it to be Plaksha ? Further question arises. Can
4
14 BARHUT
we regard the fragment a!' a remnant of a broken statue of a YakhsiQi or Devata ?
Had it been so, it would lJave been placed according to the general Barhut convention
under a tree with its top naturally bending and hanging over its head. But in this
scene a particular branch of the tree, instead of its top, bends so far down as to be
within the easy reach of the human hand kept in its natural position. We think it
more cogent to get hold of a Buddhist legend which has a specific reference to such
a phenomenon as this. The legend of the birth of the Buddha, or more accurately,
of Prince Siddhartha, is the one that underlies the scene. There are principally
three versions of this legend, the Pali version
1
describing the tree as Sala, and the
Lalita-Vistara and Mahavastu versions
2
as Plaksha.
According to the Mahavastu version, Queen Maya stood supporting her arm on
a branch of the Plaksha. The Lalita-Vistara version tells us that the Plaksha tree
lowered its top to salute her. It is the Pali version which says that only a branch of
the noble Sala tree bent down so low as to be within her easy reach. But for the
difference of the tree which we take to be Plaksha, the scene seems to have repre-
sented a version similar to the Pali. According to the Pali legend, when Queen
Mahamaya's time of confinement drew nigh, she desired to see her people in
Devadaha. On the way she wished to have a walk in the delightful forest-grove of
Lumbinl, where all the trees bore flower out of season. On reaching the foot of
an imposing Sala tree, she playfully tried to catch hold of one of its branches and
it bent itself, to the amazement of all, so far down as to be well within the grasp of
her hand. Hardly she held it when her pain began. What followed is too well-
known to be recounted here.
5. Pis. LIV, XVI : Middle Bas-Relief. Left side
[Scene 37] :-
Mahasamayikaya Arahaguto devaputo vokato bhagavato sasani patisamdhi.
3
"In the great assembly of the gods the Angel Arhadgupta announces the inception
of the Divine Being's system."
This inscription serves as a label for the Jataka-scene gorgeously sculptured
on the left side of a corner pillar of the Western Gateway. The bas-relief,
Announcement of as noticed by Cunningham, represents the footprints of Buddha placed
by on a throne or altar which is canopied by an umbrella hung with
Angel Arhadgupta. garlands, while a royal personage is kneeling before the altar, and
reverentially touching the foot-prints with his hands.
4
One might see in it the
I Fausb611, Jataka, I, p. 52. 2 Lalita-Visara, Ch. VII; Mahavastu, 11, p. 19,
3 Barua & Sinha, No. 152. 4 Stupa of Bharhut, p. 112.
JAT 15
depiction of an interesting scene from the Lalita-Vistara story of the Buddha,
where the angels of the Pure-Abodes were predicting, in the disguise of
Brahmins, the Bodhisattva' s descent into the womb.
1
But this particular episode
singled out for identification does not explain the points noticed by Cunningham.
The scene represents, as stated in the label, a Mahasamaya or large congregation
of the great angels, who are found seated with joined hands as an act of devotion,
round a square-shaped jewelled throne canopied by an umbrella, the modern
pattern of which is afforded by the Burmese sunshades. The throne bears on its
surface imprints of hands. Its front side shows two flying birds carrying an
ornamental chain-work from which a few lotuses are suspended. In the middle of
the lower step we see two foot-prints, each bearing a wheel-mark.
2
One of the
angels kneels before these foot-prints, touching one to the left with his left hand
and the other to the right with the turban covering his head. He must be the angel
Arhadgupta, referred to in the label. The angel and his comrades arc clad in jewels
and drapery. But he alone performs the act of devotion technically called 'vandana,'
while others are doing the 'anjalikarma'. Though the throne has been placed in the
middle of the bas-relief, it stands, exactly as in a few other scenes, without the Bodhi-
tree, and this is what must be when the scene is laid inside a hall. We dare-
say that here we have an artistic counterpart of an episode similar to one in the 7th
chapter of the Lalita-Vistara, recording the visit of the angels of the Pure-Abodes
with Mahesvara at their head. This episode contains expressions corresponding
to the label of the bas-relief.
The story relates that not long after the brith of the Bodhisattva Mahesvara, the
lordly angel, announced the fact to the angels of the Pure-Abodes, saying that the
great saviour was already born among men, destined to attain ere long the supreme
beatitude. He also proposed that they should lose no time to visit Kapilavastu to
pay the proper homage to the Bodhisattva, to congratulate King Suddhodana and
return after duly predicting the Bodhisattva' s future achievement. The angels readily
accepted his proposal. Forthwith the lordly angel, surrounded by a retinue of
twelve thousand angels, making everything in the noble city of Kapilavastu resplendent
by their light, came to the royal residence of Suddhodana. They were all adorned
with jewelled crowns (maryi-ratna-chiiqa) and noble behaviour. They carried in
their hands excellent flowers, garlands, unguents and silken robes. They came
I Lalita-Vlsta'a, Cf,. Ill.
2 The wheel-symbcl, as Cunningham rig!ltly points out, is one of the 32 birth-marks of a child to
become a Buddha.
16
BARHUT
indeed, full of respect, anxious to see and worship the princely Babe, who was the
god of gods. He bowed down before the Bodhisattva, touching the Great Being's
feet with his head. Wearing his upper garment or scarf on one shoulder, he sat on
one side, respectfully keeping the Lordly Child on his right side. He took the Prince
of men on his lap, and joyfully congratulated Suddhodana that the Prince born was
destined to attain Sambodhi, of which there was nothing beyond.
6. PI. XLII. 5 [Scene 38] :-The scene occupies an upper triangular transverse
section on the left side of the original has-relief, more than half of which is broken
and missing, there being nothing but a fire-altar left of the lower part
Flight of five Rishis
dunng Sa.kyan of the composition. The portion which now survives presents, as
plough-Festival. d b c . h h R' h" T- f th 1 t'l I
notice y unnmg am, t ree . IS IS or apasas o e a.1 a c ass,
who are flying through the air.
1
They stand poised or motionless in mid-air on their
way over the fire-altar beneath. Their matted hair is coiled and knotted on the top of
their heads in one of the two fashions adopted by the Barhut artists. They are clad
in the garments of bark or similar stuff just covering up their loins and thighs. Their
upper garment is worn like a badge, and it transversely passes round their left
shoulders and the right sides of their breasts below their arm-pits. They are carrying
kamaQqalus or some kind of alms-bowls in their left hands. lt is very likely that
there were five of them. lt is certain, as Cunningham says, there was room in the
has-relief, when it was complete, for two more on the right.
There are only two Buddhist stories which can be brought forward to explain
these details. The one suggested by Cunningham is the Lalita-Vistara story
of the arrest of progress of five ~ i s i s when flying above the hallowed spot,
where Prince Siddhartha, the Bodhisattva, then a mere boy, remained, lost in
ecstasy under a rose-apple tree during the Sakyan festival, annually celebrated in
connection with the ploughing match.
2
The other that we may suggest is the
Paniya-]ataka (F. 459), giving a description of the fight of five Pratyeka-Buddhas
from their distant Himalayan abode towards the City of Benares and back.
But comparing them, we cannot but prefer the one selected by Cunningham.
The Paniya-Jataka has nothing to tell us about the presence of the fire-altar
and motionless standing of the ascetics over it, and what is more, its description
of the hair and other characteristics of the Pratyeka-Buddhas does not fit in
with the Barhut representation of the ascetics. According to the Jataka description,
the hair of a Pratyeka-Buddha is two fingers long, a pair of red garments are
1 Stiipa of Bharhut, p. 99. 2 Lalita-Vistara, Ch. XI.
17
wrapt round him, a waist-band of yellow colour is tied about him, the upper
robe of red colour is thrown over one shoulder, another pathsukula garment
lies on his shoulder, and a bee-brown earthen bowl dangles from over his left
shoulder when he flies or stands poised in mid-air. Most of these details are done
justice to by the Barhut ascetics. But they, unlike the Pratyeka- Buddhas of the
Jataka, wear two garments instead of three, and their alms-bowls or kamaQQalus
are carried in their left hands instead of dangling from over their left shoulders.
The flve is of Cunningham' s story are typically the ascetics as they are repre-
sented in the Barhut sculpture. lt explains the cause of the sudden arrest of the
progress of the ascetics when they were journeying through the air from the south
towards the north. On enquiry, they came to know that their power of miraculous
force was counteracted by the overpowering majesty of the Bodhisattva meditating
in the forest-grove beneath. The story relates that the Bodhisattva appeared to
the ascetics as a luminary shining with light emitted from his body, and to Suddho-
dana his father, as a flre issuing from a mountain-peak and glorious like a lamp.
7. PI. XX. Piece of Gateway Pillar. Found at Pataora. Face (half cut
away) [Scene IS] :-Arahaguto devaputo.
1
"Angel Arhadgupta-the protector of the Arhats."
This has-relief depicts a continuous scene of the Great Renunciation of
the Bodhisattva, Prince Siddhartha. The scene is divided into three stages,
M h
-bh" . k represented one below the other. In the flrst stage, the
a a tms ramana:
Bodhisattva is stepping out by the main doorway of the royal
Renunciation. palace of King Suddhodana ; in the second, passing out on
horseback through the city-gate of Kapilavastu, and in the third, riding on ahead.
We have just a front view of the palace which is a strong and magnificent building.
Its roof is completely broken off. The surviving fragment shows three pillars in
front. lt appears that there were four pillars in all when the scene was complete.
Each of these is an ashtapada,-a pillar with an octagonal shaft. lt has a bell-
shaped capital with a full-blown lotus at the top. Its abacus, which is usually a
square stone-slab, is surmounted by a big mongoose-like animal. Its pedestal
(padasthana) bears a vase and lotus design. Two female deities stand between the
three pillars, one in the left with joined hands, the other in the right placing the right
hand below her breast and keeping the left hand suspended at full length. The deities,
among other notable points, stand each upon a stone-seat of lotus-leaf with a
I Barua & Sinha, No. 153.
5
18 BARHUT
!1Tacefully curved stalk, springing from the bottom of the middle slab of the plinth
of the pillar in the left. This is unmistakably an outer detail of the lotus-design
in the pedestal. The representation of the palace is far below the literary descrip-
tion. Its doorway is represented by a slanting path between two pillars, while
two outgoing footprints with the usual wheel-marks represent the Bodhisattva' s
stepping out of the palace. lt is possible that one deity has been shown twice,
in two different attitudes, in one doing honour to the Bodhisattva and in the other
expressing her sorrow at the Prince's departure from his father's palace, leaving it
in darkness and utter gloom. She is the Rajalakshmi who stands with a sad face
(dinamana) before the Prince when he is going away. According to the Lalita-
Vistara description} she is the Daivata-lakshmi, and according to the Mahavastu
story} she is the presiding deity of the city (nagara-devata), who stood thus before
the Prince when he was leaving the city, and not the palace. There must have
been something in the palace to indicate the dead of night. Numerous small
flowers are scattered over the ground both within and outside the city. This is
precisely what it should be according to literary descriptions, where the deities
and demi-gods are said to have freely scattered showers of flowers (muktapushpa-
varshaQi), of such celestial blossoms as mandaraka and the rest. Within the city
we see three deities standing on the ground, one in the left holding a yaks ha' s tail
by the upraised right hand, two with joined hands, and all watching with interest
the cautious leading of the horse KaQtaka by the attendant Chhandaka, or it
may be, a deity, who walks ahead of and along with the noble charger, holding
the hanging loose outer end of the reins with his right hand. According to the
Pali description, the horse was 18 cubits in length, from his neck to his tail, of pro-
portionate height, white as the purest conch, and strong and fleet. further, accord-
ing to this description, the horse was properly caparisoned, and Chhandaka
accompanied the Prince, holding the horse by the tail.
3
There is no other point
of agreement between this description and the Barhut representation except that
the horse is tastefully caparisoned. The Prince's seat on the horse-back is canopied
by an umbrella with a hanging garland, while two chauris rest upon it, tail to tail on
two sides of the umbrella-stick, the face of one lying slantingly towards the head,
and that of the other lying erect towards the tail, of the horse. Instead of walking
on the ground, the horse is being led along the pillared city-wall which looks like
a parapet of stone, composed of projections and receding posts tied together.
The horse went out ultimately through the city-gate which is indicated by a slanting
1 Lalita-Vistara, Ch. XV. 2 Mahl!.vastu, 11, p. 164. 3 Hardy's Manual of Buddhism, p. 162.
JAT AKA-SCENES 19
path in the left, presumably with outgoing hoof-marks of the horse. In the Pali
account
1
we find it stated that Chhandaka resolved to take the Prince on his right
shoulder and the horse on his left and leap over the ramparts of the city, if the gate
were not open, while the horse resolved in view of the same obstacle to leap over
the barrier with the Prince on his back and Chhandaka holding his tail. But this
was unnecessary as they found the gate thrown open by the deities. The leading
of the horse by a deity is quite compatible with the Lalita-Vistara story, in which
Chhandaka is asked to make over the charge of the horse to Sakra and Brahma,
who went ahead, along with the noble charger. None of the deities is seen carrying
torches. lt is diHkult to make out who the deities are. The part played by Mara
does not find its place in the scene.
In the third stage outside the city we see the Angel Arhadgupta standing, with
joined hands and dignified appearance, in the left, having on his left side two
other deities, the deity in the right extremity standing with joined hands and the
second deity in the middle expressing by the significant attitude of his right hand the
imperceptible progress of the horse with the Bodhisattva on his back, as he is
moving on before their eyes. There stand, below the horse, one deity in the left
with joined hands and two on his left side, playing on Indian drums with two hands.
All these serve to indicate a triumphal procession. The crossing of the river
Anoma is not at all represented. The sight of the sleeping dancing women in the
bed-chamber of the Prince, the Prince's lingering looks, as he still stood at the
doorway, at his newly born son sleeping in his mother's bosom, and the letting off
of Chhandaka and KaQtaka on the bank of the Anoma are some of the important
details that pass unrecognised.
8. PI. XVI.-West Gate. Corner. Ajatasatru Pillar. Left Side. Upper Bas-Relief
[Scene 39] :-
Bhagavato chiiqamaho.
2
Sudhathma devasabha.
3
Vejayathta -pasade.
4
"The Festival in honour of the Divine Being's dressed hair lock."
"The Council-Hall of the gods."
"In the Palace of Victory."
In this square panel we see charming representations of the Palace of Victory and
Council-Hall of the gods, which occupy its upper part and larger half. The strip
I Nidana-Katha. 2-4, Earua & Sinha, Nos. 154-156.
20
BAR HUT
below represents an open ground or a courtyard in front of the Palace and
the Hall. The scene, as described in one of the incised labels, is that of a grand
Festival, held for commemorating the incident of cutting the dressed
The gods of the h h J d h Jf
Heaven of the hair-lock by the Bodhisattva, Prince Sidd art a, ea ing to is se -
Thirty-Three hold initiation into asceticism (pravrajya). The Palace which stands in the
a Festival in enshrin-
ing the Bodhisattva's
dressed hairlock.
right is a three-storeyed building, each storey of which is separated from
the other by a Buddhist railing, with two rail-bars instead of three. In
its front view, the lowest storey appears to be an open-pillared hall,
with two plain octagonal pillars at two corners. The upper storeys present two projec-
ting halls with wings on either side. The second storey has three arched doors or
windows with semi-circular hood-mouldings, through each of which a goddess
peeps out, watching the festival that is going on below. A roof-like proflle
rests over these openings. The third storey is provided with a solid roof with
semi-circular ends and two arched doors or windows, through which two goddess-
es are looking out. In the open-pillared hall Sakra or lndra, the king of the
gods, is seated in his throne in the middle, attended by two goddesses on
each side, those on his right hand side holding up chauris, one with her right hand
and the other with her left. Vaijayanta is mentioned in the Jataka-Commentary
as Sakra' s palace, which received the name 'Palace of Victory' because it arose in
the hour of victory in a battle which the gods fought with the demons. In the
light of the Kulavaka-Jataka (F. 31,) the four attending goddesses can be identi-
fied with Sudharma, Chitra, Nanda and Sujata. According to the Sudhabho-
jana-Jataka, Sakra' s palace Vaijayanta was a thousand leagues high and his
throne was made of yellow marble, sixty leagues in extent. Sakra himself is
said to have been accompanied by a glorious array of twentyflve millions of
heavenly nymphs. All these details are not fully represented in the Barhut scene.
The lower part of the Council- Hall in the left, like that of the Palace of Victory,
is surmounted with a Buddhist railing. The Hall itself consists of two open-pillared
square courts, one within the other, the outer court supplying the inner one with a
verandah on each side. The inner court, composed of four plain octagonal pillars/
is covered with a domed roof, adorned with a single pinnacle at the top. The
verandahs are covered with a continuous sloping roof. The verandah on the front
side, which is actually represented, shows a high arched doorway with hood-moulding
I husboll, Jataka. No. 541 (translation) :
"This is Sudhamma, where the gods assemble,
Supported by fair columns, finely wrought,
Eight-sided, made of gems and jewels rare".
JAT AKA-SCENES 21
This doorway opens into a projected square and an ornamented staircase
with several steps leads to it, dividing the railing. Inside this hall we see a cubical
seat and a tray placed upon it. The seat bears on its sides the garland and hand-
designs. The tray contains flower-wreaths and other precious things, and over
them it shows the Bodhisattva' s dressed hair-lock. A god, probably Sakra himself,
stands on the right, doing honour to the jewel-crest with joined hands, while
another god standing on the left is making religious offering with his right
hand. A parasol with two hanging garlands stands as canopy over the seat,
tray and head-dress. The Kulavaka-Jataka says that the gods' Good-
ness-Hall was named after the pious lady Sudharma who was born as a hand-
maiden of Sakra and by virtue of whose gift of a pinnacle (karryikara) there arose
for her this mansion, studded with heavenly jewels, Bve hundred leagues high. It is
in this mansion that Sakra, ruling men and the gods, sat under a white canopy
of royal state. According to the Divyavadana description, this is the Hall where
the gods of the Thirty-three and four re'flents of the quarters held deliberations over
mundane and celestial affairs. This is the ideal construction to which all grand
halls or courts built by the human hand, have been likened in Indian literature\ The
great festivity has been represented by a sectional device, as though in the open
courtyard below, where four heavenly maidens are characteristically dancing on
the left, and three are singing on the right, clapping their hands, in the midst of
four musician gods, one, standing up, striking a round bell-metal with a small stick,
one, sittin'5 cross-leg<5ed, playin'5 with his two hands on the ri<5ht-hand-drum, leaving
aside for a moment the left-hand-drum, and the remainin'5 two, seated cross-leg<5ed,
playin'5 on harps. The subject of illustration is a scene of the festival, known as
Chuqamaha, held in the Heaven of the Thirty-three, when Sakra enshrined the jewel-
crest or dressed hair-lock, cut off by the Bodhisattva with a sharp sword and thrown
up into the air. Buddhist literature contains a very simple description of this incident,
which is as follows :-
After letting off Chhandaka and Karytaka from the bank of the Anoma, the
Bodhisattva, as a prelude to his adoption of ascetic life, cut off his hair and threw
it upwards, saying, "If I am to be a Buddha, let my hair remain in the sky. and if I
am not to become a Buddha, let it fall to the <5round." But it remained suspended
in the air, at a great hei<5ht, like the beautiful bird kalaha1hsa, the black duck. To
preserve it, Sakra brought a lar<Se golden casket, which he deposited in a mound,
I Mahaummagga-Jataka (F. 546) ; Khila Hanvarpsa, VishQuparva, Ch. LVIII.
6
22 BARHUT
placing the hair in it. This is what we are told in the Pali Nidana-Katha.
1
Other
descriptions
2
expressly refer to the great festival which we find well represented in
the Barhut scene.
9. PI. XXX. 4 [Scene 40] :-This is apparently a decorative design carved
Festive decoration
on Bodhisattva' s
way towards the
Bodhi-Tree.
in a medallion, which is slightly broken in the middle. lt presents
two tala or fan-palm trees standing in a row, at some distance from
each other, before an open-pillared building with an upper storey
supported upon a railing-like structure. As Cunningham observed,
the spreading pointed leaves of the trees are successfully represented, and the peculiar
appearance of the trunks of the trees is also happily shown.
3
The shafts of the
pillars, as usual, are octagonal. The bell-capital of each pillar bears over it a big
lotus-design. The abacus is made of two interesting cross-bars. The railing is made
up of uprights joined by three rail-bars and covered by a coping.
The edifice above has two ornamented arched windows or niches, where
two human figures can be seen seated cross-legged, with their hands bent at right
angles, their right hands being placed on the palms of their left hands. Their heads
are covered with turbans. The peculiar earrings worn by them go to show that
they are not ordinary human beings but some gods or demi-gods. Their appearance
shows a calm demeanour. The dome-shaped roof is surmounted by three small
pinnacles between which there are two large birds on the roof, sitting in opposite
directions, the tail of one to the right touching the back of the other to the left, the
bird to the left turning back towards the one to the right. The gods or demi-gods
are evidently watching from their mansions some spectacle below. If so, we have
reasons to believe that here we have a representation of ratna-vyomakas or jewelled-
rerial mansions set up, as described in the 19th chapter of the Lalita-Vistara, by the
'flOds of the Kamavachara heavens as part of decorations of the road by which the
Bodhisattva proceeded from the Nairaiijana to the Bodhi-tree. lt is said that the
carrollin'6 of suka, sarika, kokila, kalavitika, jlvaiijlvaka, hathsa, krauiicha, mayiira
and chakravaka added much to the loveliness of the scene.
I Hardy's Manual of Buddhism, p. 165. The Tibetan story says that the stupa was built on the spot,
where the Prince cut off his hair and beard, by the faithful Brahmins and householders, See Rockhill's
Life of the Buddha, pp. 25-26.
2 Laltta-VJstara, Ch. XV, Mahavastu,ll.p. 166. 3 Smpa of Bharhut, p, 47.
JA T AKA-SCENES
ii. FROM SANTIKE-NIDANA-
NEAR-AT-HAND SECTION-
23
1. PI. XIX. N. Gate.-Corner Pillar [Scene 41] :-
Brahmadevo manavako.
'The youthful Rupabrahma deity."
This important scene has been executed in two square panels on the same face
of a corner pillar. The upper panel presents a two-storeyed celestial mansion, the
Victory over Mara :
Congratulation by
the Rupabrahma
upper story being apparently supported upon four tall pillars, with
octagonal shafts and bell-capitals ornamented with festoons, touching
each other. This storey is usually provided in front with a uniform
Buddhist railing, and two arched doors or windows on either side,
deities on the eve of containing three small pillars between them. It is, moreover, covered
Buddha's attainment
by a long barrel-vault roof, with seven or presumably nine small
of Buddhahood.
pinnacles. Six deities, whose heads and faces can only be seen, are
peeping out through the arched openings and the intervening spaces of these openings
and three pillars, evidently watching some interesting occurrence below. Looking at
the open-pillard hall below, surrounded by a railing, our attention is at once drawn
to a male deity majestically passing out through the high-arched opening of a gate-
chamber at the left corner, mounted on a mighty elephant, while four other
male deities are slowly and cautiously walking one behind the other, towards
the gate-chamber, behind the narrow railing-wall. The deity in front of all
carries a small ball-like thing in his left hand, while with the out strekhed palm
of his upraised right hand, he is pointing out the deity who is '('lOing out or
asking others who are following him to halt or proceed cautiously. The second deity,
coming behind him carries a tray, full of numerous small objects, probably articles of
food or various kinds of precious gems. The upper edge of the tray is tilted against
his breast, while its lower edge is held, in the middle, by his left hand, bent to form a
right angle. The third deity similarly carries a tray with several pieces of square
coins, arranged in two rows, while the fourth deity bears another tray, containing a
diadem or crown. These four deities, like the one on the elephant's shoulder, wear
beautiful earrings, necklaces, breastlets, bracelets and armlets. The purpose in their
walking towards the gate-chamber is either to mount the elephants or to hand
over certain articles to the deities, passing out through the gateway. The attitude of
right hand of the deity on the elephant clearly indicates that some other deities are
coming behind him, whom he is asking to proceed slowly. Anyway, we see
in the upper half of the lower panel, placed between two tall octagonal pillars,
24 BAR HUT
five deities mounted, with a fixed gaze, on five elephants, four of whom
remain standing, side by side, in a line, and the fifth in the middle is kept in the
background for want of space. Each of these elephants is a magnificent
animal, nicely caparisoned. A piece of garland is put round the crown
of the head, and two bells hang down to the knees of the forelegs. The upper
part of the trunk is tastefully painted. lt may be that an ornamental front-
covering is hanging upon the forehead. These elephants are all quarter-ran<sers
(disagajas, diggajas) t. The rider in the middle of the five has a label incised below
him, <sivin<s his name as 'Brahma, the youthful an<sel'. This an<selic deity holds the
goad by the left hand, and holds up a chauri or yak's tail fan by the right. The
deity on his right hand side holds the goad by the left hand, and bears up a garlanded
parasol by the ri<sht. What the second deity on his right hand side holds up by
the right hand cannot be ascertained, as this part of the panel is completely broken
off. The deity on his left hand side holds the goad by the ri<sht hand, and holds up
a tray, held up by a second deity on this side by the right hand. In the third position
we see that Brahma has alighted from the elephant's shoulder, and stands, holdin<s the
goad, in front of the elephant, directin<s the animal to stand raising his joined forelegs,
in an attitude of reverent supplication, before Asvattha, the Bodhi-Tree of Buddha
Sakyamuni. The fourth position clearly shows that all the five deities have alighted
on the gronnd. Four of them stand in a line, with joined hands, while Brahma, their
leader, is kneelin<s on the ground in paying reverence to the Diamond Throne. It is
usually canopied by a garlanded parasol. Further below, a human fi<sure stands at the
lower corner of the left hand side of the Vajrasana, and tries to raise and
overthrow it by his back. He is no other than Mara, the vanquisher of a man
followin<s the noblest pursuit.
The scene represents the concluding part of Siddhartha' s battle with Mara.
According to later Buddhist legends, Siddhartha and Mara were contestin<s
the superiority, in both quantity and quality, of the gifts each had made. Mara
called his hosts to witness, while Siddhartha invoked the beni<sn Earth-deity to
give evidence. The Earth-deity, in <sivin<s evidence, caused a mi<shty stream to
flow, which served to sweep away the battalions of Mara. As soon as the battle
was over, the Nagas cried out to the Nagas, the Supan;tas to the Suparl)as,
the Devas to the Devas, and the Brahmas to the Brahmas : "Mara
~ ~
I Barua Sinha, No 157.
2 The descent ot a deity from the heaven mounted on this kind of elephant is described in the Vimanava-
tthu (No. 60).
JA T AKA-SCENES 25
is overcome, Prince Siddhartha is the conqueror, let us make a celebration
of his victory (jayapiija)". Thus all of them came, perfumes and garlands in their
hands, from the ten thousand spheres, and assembling on all sides of the Bodhi-
terrace where the Prince was seated cross-legged, made offerings by way of doing
honour, and respectfully stood, uttering praises. The 23rd. chapter of the Lalita-
vistara beautifully describes how each class of angels and deities came down to
praise the Prince, taking with them flowers, wreaths, frankincense, perfumes, garments,
umbrellas, flags, banners, nets of gems, and various other objects of worship.
The Barhut scene seems to illustrate only the visit of the Brahmakayika deities,
with Subrahma at the head. lt is likely that in the Barhut story these deities also
play the part of the Earth-deity in bearing witness to the gifts, made by the
Bodhisattva during his many previous births.
2. PI. XXXI. 4 (Scene 42] :-This bas-relief, as studied by Cunningham,
gives a view of a large building, containing four seats, with garlands hanging over
them, the seats being no other than the thrones of the four Buddhas.
Buddha Gautama's
Jewel-Walk. He suggests that the human hands sculptured on the side of each
throne may be taken to be a symbolical representation of a crowd
of human worshippers. The main features of the building, according to his obser-
vations, are a large open hall supported on octagonal pillars with bell capital and
an upper storey with three arched windows, the whole being covered by a long
dome-shaped roof, surmounted by ten small pinnacles.
If it was the intention of the sculptors to represent here the Vajrasanas or
Thrones of the Buddhas, they would have also depicted the Bodhi-Trees. Further, the
Barhut convention decisively shows that no other scene except one connected with
Buddha Gautama is canopied by umbrellas, whether represented in full or indicated
by the garlands hanging therefrom. Applying this as a test, we cannot think of
connecting the scene with any other Buddha than Sakyamuni. What we actually have
are not four seats but a long platform between two rows of pillars. The absence of
the Bodhi-trees indicates that the scene is other than that of the Bodhimal)qa. Indeed,
we cannot resist the temptation of thinking with Dr. Kramrisch that here we have
an artistic representation of the famous Ratana-Chamkama or Jewel- Walk where
the Buddha is said to have spent the second week following his enlightenment. And
we may here point out that Cunningham himself corrected his mistake and took the
platform to be a representation of the jewel-walk or promenade, the flowers carved
on the top being intended, according to him, "to mark the spots of Buddha's foot-
prints" .
2
l Str::pa of Bharhut, p. !21. 2 f.lahabodhi, p. 1 o.
7
26 BARHUT
3. Bhagavato pamchasanarh. (?)
1
"The five seats of the Divine Being." (?)
After the attainment of Buddhahood, the Buddha spent full
week> on five spots seven weeks in Uruvilva, on the bank of the Nairafijana. In the
around the sacred first week he remained sitting cross-legged upon the BodhimaQqa,
Bo Tree.
feeling the great joy of victory and success. During the second
Buddha soends five
week he remained in a sitting posture on a spot to the north-east of the Bo-
T ree, gazing at it, keeping his eyes always fixed upon it and meditating. He spent
the third week in walking upon the Jewel-walk, from end to end. During the whole
of the fourth week, he resided in the Jewel-house, developing the chain of reasoning
and reflecting on its effects and possibilities. In the flfth week, he enjoyed the bliss
of NirvaQa under the banyan tree called Ajapala. In the sixth week, he remained
near the Muchalinda-lake, guarded by the Dragon-chief Muchalinda who coiled
himself round his person, spreading his great hood over his head, as a means of
protection during storm and rain. In the seventh week, he went to a forest of
Kshlrapala-trees, where he remained at the foot of the Rajayatana-tree upon a seat
of stone, and after passing the 49th day, accepted a gift of food from the trader
brothers T rapusha and Bhalluka. In the preceding two scenes we have seen how
he spent the first and third weeks. The surviving fragment of the inscription
indicates that there was another bas-relief representing the scenes of the five places
where he spent the remaining five weeks.
4. PI. XXXIV. 4. [Scene 44] :-This carving in a rail-medallion contains the
Dhar machakrapra-
vartt! Bodhisattva
presents a Symbol
of Wheel.
representation of a massive wheel set in the mortice of an octagonal
pillar with a bell-capital bearing at its top the design of a full-blown
lotus, while its abacus bears the figures of two antelopes, which are
crouching in opposite directions. The antelopes serve unquestion-
ably the purpose of a symbol of the Deer-Park, where the Buddha proclaimed his
Dharmachakra. The wheel is beautifully fitted with the navel, the axle, the spokes and
other paraphernalia. Its rim is bedecked with a continuous decorative design, while
two large garlands are hanging down on its upper sides. The symbol is worshipped,
on each side, by one man and one woman, the man standing up and the woman
kneeling down. It appears that the man to the left was the person who put up the
two garlands. This specimen of the Dharmachakra-symbol was, according to
Cunningham, a favourite design with the ancient Buddhists, since a similar representa-
tion could be found at Buddha-Gaya and at Sanchi, while Fa-Hian also saw
the same kind of symbol at Sravastl when he visited the place. This observation
JA T AKA-SCENES 27
is very fruitful. But Cunningham has missed two very important points : (I) that
this particular specimen has been studiously kept distinct by the Barhut artist from
the wheel-symbol of the Dharmachakra as proclaimed by the Buddha ; (2) that
the bas-relief depicts a distinct scene from the life of the Buddha. In the Barhut
representation of the symbol of Buddha's Dharmachakra, the wheel has a totally
different shape, bears a most ornate finish, and is canopied. The symbol in the
bas-relief does not stand for the real Dharmachakra. lt is designed only as a
previous suggestion.
The distinction here contemplated can be laid bare in the light of a story in
the Lalita-vistara. The 26th chapter of the Lalia-vistara relates that previous to
the proclamation of the Dharmachakra by the Buddha, a symbol in the form of a
wheel was held before him as a suggestion. No sooner the Buddha, on his arrival
at the Deer-Park in Rishipattana, sat thinking to give out to the world the immortal
truths than the Bodhisattva whose mission was to suggest the way of proclaiming
the Dharmachakra caused a symbol of wheel to be brought down. The wheel was
resplendent with the colours of all kinds of gems, beautified with all gems, bedecked
with an array of ornaments made up of all manner of precious stones, decorated
with a thousand lotus-petals emitting a thousand rays, fitted with a navel and an
axle, provided with the flower-garlands, the network of gold and the tinkling bells,
perfumed with sweet scents, sanctifled with waterpots fil!ed to the brim, bearing the
auspicious symbols Nandyavarta and Svastika, painted with all manner of colours,
set with superfine clothes, anointed with the highly fragrant floral scents, frankincense,
wreaths and cosmetics, made, in short, the very paragon of excellence. Having the
wheel brought down, the Bodhisattva standing with folded hands, extolled the
T athagata by the hymns of praise.
5. Pis. XXVIII. 3. LVIII. Medallion Carving [Scene 45] :-
Jetavana Anadhapeqiko deti kotisaihthatena keto.
1
"AnathapiQqika dedicates Prince }eta's Garden after
purchasing it with a layer of
Ga1hdhakuti.
2
"The Fragrant Cottage"
Kosarhbakuti.
3
"The Perfumed Cottage."
1-3. Smha, Nos. 161-163.
28 BARHUT
Here, in the foreground, Cunningham sees a bullock-cart, with the unyoked
bullocks sitting beside it, and with the yoke tilted up in the air to show that the
Dedication of the cart has been unloaded. In front are two men, each holding a very
Jetavana monastery, small object between his thumb and foreflnger. These two may be
built in Prince Jeta's
taken to be Anathapin. qika himself and his treasurer, counting out
Garden, purchased
by AnathapiQqika. the gold pieces brought in the cart. Above them are two other
Hgures seated, and busily engaged in covering the surface of the garden with the gold
coins, which are here represented as square pieces touching one another.
These square pieces are surely intended for representing the gold coins with
which AnathapiQQika was to cover the whole area of the garden as its price.
To the left are six other Hgures, who seem to be Prince }eta and his
friends, while in the very middle of the composition there is AnathapiQQika
himself carrying a vessel, just like a tea-kettle, in both hands, for the purpose of
pouring water over the Buddha's hands as a proof of the completion of his gift. Two
temples and four trees represent the garden. The temples are respectively labelled
Garhdhakuti and Kosarhbakuti, which did not from any part of the original garden
of Prince Jeta. To the right of the Kosarhbakuti and below the Garhdhakuti there
is a single mango-tree surrounded by a railing, which is, without doubt, intended for
the holy mango-tree, the stone of which was planted by Ananda according to
Buddha's instruction. The remaining three are the sandal trees which were
left standing, while the rest of the scene illustrates the famous story of
the purchase of the garden with as many gold pieces us would sutlice to cover its
surface. The story is sufficiently well told by the sculptor who has wisely limited
his work to a few of its leading features, such as the largeness of the sum of money
which required a cart for its conveyance, the counting of the coins, and the spread-
ing of the gold pieces over the whole surface of the garden. The chief interest of
the scene lies in the two temples, which are actual representations of two buildings.
Their insertion is an anachronism, as the temples could not have been built until
after the purchase of the garden. If they had been buildings without names, they
might perhaps have been looked upon as simple garden houses. The sculptor has
apparently aimed at giving a view of the great Buddhist vihara of Jetavana, in
illustrating the story of its erection by AnathapiQQika. The Kuti, in the two
specimens, is a single-storeyed building, enclosing an altar or throne, with a garland
h n ~ i n g over it. It has an arched doorway, which is surmounted by a second arch-
like hood-moulding. The roof of the Kosarhbakuti is a dome, with a small
pinnacle on the top ; but that of the Gamdhakuti has gable ends with a pinnacle at
each end.
29
We appreciate the suggestion that the scene illustrates not merely the story
of dedication of Prince Jeta' s Garden after it was purchased from its owner but that
of dedication of the garden after it had been converted into a Buddhist monastic
residence with all new additions of cottages, houses and sheds, made by Anatha-
piryqika and Prince }eta. The clean surface of the plot of land and the four trees
represent the condition of the garden after all the useful trees but the sandal
and mango were cut down and the ground was made perfectly level as a proof of
the fact of possession. Of the four trees shown in the bas-relief, three in the upper
part of the right half are sandal trees and one on the right side of the
the Kosathbakuti is a mango-plant with hanging bunches of fruits. The latter is
not the mango-tree planted by Ananda according to Buddha's instruction. The
mango-tree referred to by Cunningham was planted by Garyqa, the gardener, on a
spot lying midway between Jetavana and the city-gate of Sravasti. We nowhere see
the presence of Anathapiryqika' s treasurer in the scene. In the right half of the
medallion where the sculptor represents the story of the gold pieces, brought
in a bullock-cart, we encounter in the lower part just a scene of unloading
after the bullocks were unyoked, and the conveyance was tilted up to
facilitate the work. The carter himself, characteristically sitting on the ground
before the lower end of the cart, is carefully counting the loads of gold pieces,
layer after layer, block after block, and handing them over to Anathapiryqika who is
seen standing before him, on the left side of the cart, as much at a time as the banker
could conveniently hold in the fold of his hands. The carter, whilst the forefingers
of his two hands are yet resting on two gold pieces, is inquisitively looking at the
banker to be assured that his counting is not incorrect. One of the hired labourers,
who appears to be an old idiot, is carrying, at an unusually slow pace, a heavy
load of gold pieces in an open cylindrical holder, held over the back of his shoulder,
bent under its weight, grasping its circular edges with his two hands from two
sides, while two <:lever men, who are engaged, face to face, in symmetrically covering
the ground are awating his arrival, in a significant attitude of forbearance, as they
have no work to do for want of material. lt is clear that the banker himself is
busy passing the gold pieces to the hands of the carrier, who takes them finally to
the place of work after tightly setting them inside the holder. The pieces are of
irregular shape and size, and a fortiori of varying weight. Most of them are four-sided
and a few are round, but none is perfectly circular, square or rectangular. Many
of them bear punch and Svastika marks, and none is without an imprint. lt seems
that a melted bullion with different imprints has been cut into several pieces, each
retaining an imprint on it. According to the Jatakanidana-katha. these are hiraryya-
8
30 BARHUT
karshapaQas, the stamped or imprinted gold coins, as distinguished from the brick-
shaped or tortoise-shaped gold-bullions, used by former bankers in covering the
ancient site of Jetavana\ The two men, who are covering the ground, are not
using any tools, because the pieces are sufficiently handy and strong to be used. when
necessary, as hammer. Though the suggestion is somewhat remote, from their
action we may also infer that the banker and the carter are considering whether the
last cartload, which is being exhausted, would suffice to cover the remaning part.
In the left half, there are representations of two private chambers of the
Buddha, the Gandhakuti and the Kosambakuti, and these are well described
by Cunningham.
These two cottages with the cubical seats and overhanging garlands
symbolise Buddha's arrival, presence and acceptance of the monastic residence
as a permanent gift. According to Buddhist literary tradition, the Gandhakuti was
built in the middle or interior of Jetavana/ and the Kosambakuti on the border.
2
The Sutta-nipata-Commentary mentions Gandhakuti, KarerimaQQalamala, Kosam-
bakuti and Chandanamala as the four main cottages used by Buddha as his
private chambers (nivasagara).
3
To the right and a little below the Kosambakuti,
we see a small shed or cell with a railing-like wall. We cannot say what it is;
it may be intended to represent the foundation of a new building. But it is certainly
not a railing surrounding the mango-tree which stands just on a side of it, with a
high square mound of earth at its foot. The banker AnathapiQQika stands before
the Gandhakuti, keeping its doorway on his right hand side, with a big ornamented
water-jug, for pouring water out of it as an act of merit and a formality in making
the religious gift. He gently stands, with his dignified mien, the jug held in his hands
and the loose upper garment passing over his left shoulder. On the left side of the
Gandhakuti, and just behind the Kosamba, Prince ]eta stands, with joined hands
and princely majesty, at the head of a number of men, who accompanied him
and participated in the function.
These details lie scattered in several stories, and are put together in the Ceylonese
version based upon some older Indian legend which the Barhut sculptor had before
him. All the versions say that after inviting the Buddha to visit Sravastl and spend
the rainy season there, the banker Sudatta, the Supporter of the Destitute, looked
for a suitable site for the erection of a monastic residence in the suburb of Sravastl,
and his choice fell upon the garden of Prince ]eta, a son of King Prasenajit' s. In
I Fausboll's Jataka, I. p. 94.
I Fausboll's Jataka, I. p. 92.
2 Sarattha-Pakasini, Siamese Ed., I. p. 361.
3 Paramatthajotika, 11. p. 403.
JA T AKA-SCENES 31
agreeing to sell the garden the prince made a bargain with the banker that he must
pay him as many gold pieces as would be required to cover the whole site. Accepting
this bargain, the banker ordered his men to cut down the trees and level the ground.
Meanwhile the prince changed his mind and was unwilling to sell his garden.
As the banker would not give up his right, the matter was referred to the minister
in charge of the admistration of justice, and the case was decided against the
prince
1
But was the bargain really accepted ? The Ceylonese version says that
the prince and the banker went together to the garden, and saw that all the useful
trees but the mango and sandal were cut down, and the whole place was made
perfectly level. The banker commanded his treasurer to bring out from his stores
of wealth as many gold pieces as would be necessary. He emptied seven stores
in sending 18 crores, which sufficed to cover the whole of the site minus the entrance.
The prince prevented the banker ordering for any more pieces, as he thought the
amount brought in was sufficient, The money was brought in the cart, in a thousand
bundles, while a thousand men, each taking up a bundle, covered the <5arden. This
transaction being completed, the banker began new building-operations, the erection
of the monastic residence, costing him 18 crores. over and above the donations
received from his friends. He spent another 18 crores in celebrating a feast and
in daily alms set up for nine months from the time of dedication of the monastic
residence to the Buddhist order, whether present or absent. Accordin<5 to some
stories, the prince built with the whole of the 18 crores he had received a vestibule
on that part of the garden, not covered with gold.
2
The Ceylonese version says that
he built a seven-storeyed place at each of the four sides of the garden.
3
On the
approach of the Master to the city, he was received with great honour, and met
by a splendid procession, composed of different companies of men, women, boys
and girls with 500 persons in each, carrying vessels and emblems, headed by different
members of the banker's family. The banker himself escorted the Master to the
monastic residence, and poured water from a golden jug upon the hands of the
Teacher in offering the residence to the whole Buddhist order. In the Khuddaka-
Patha-Commentary on the Mangala-Sutta we read that the residence was named
Jetavana after prince Jeta, and Anathapiryqikassa arama after the banker. The
Tibetan story says that the Buddha himself, in honour of the two donors, called the
place Jeta' s Park and Anathapiryqika' s Grove.
4
1 Vmaya Chullavagga, VI. 4, 9; Rockhill's Life of the Buddha, p. 43 ; Fousboll's Jataka, I. p. 92 ; Spmce
Hardy's Manual of Buddh:sm, p. 224.
2 Chullavagga, VI. 4. 9 ; Rockhill's Life of the Buddha, p. 48 ; Commentry on the Mar.gala-Sutta.
3 Spence Hordy's Manual of Buddhism, p. 225.
4 Rockhill's Life of the Buddha, p. 49.
32 BAR HUT
6. PI. XXXI. 3 [Scene 50] :-Here Cunningham finds a fine specimen of
a Bodhi-Tree on a long Rail-bar. There is no label attached to it ; but the foliage
Stories of royal
personages doing
h:mour to the
Bodhi-Tree.
is so distinct from that of the Bodhi-Trees of the last three Buddhas
that one can feel certain that it is intended for Sirisha, the Bodhi-Tree
of Krakuchchhanda. The trunk is surmounted by a two-storeyed
building, and in the courtyard there is an isolated pillar
surmounted by an elephant. The details are quite different from those of
the Bodhi-Tree of Sakyamuni. The building has three arched openings in front.
lt is probably a square building, with the same number of openings on all sides,
somewhat similar to the present Baradari or T welvedoor summer-house. The trunk
of the Bodhi-Tree with the Vajrasana is seen in the middle opening, and pendent
garlands in the side openings. The two storeys are separated by an ornamental
railing. In the centre appears the upper part of the Bodhi-Tree breaking through
the roof, and on each side a small arched window or niche, with a garland hanging
inside. Garlands are also pendent from the branches of the tree. The style of
roof is uncertain, but as it has rounded ends, it must be covered by a dome.
1
The isolated pillar, surmounted by an elephant facing the Bodhi-Tree in the
centre, has a round shaft. The Bodhi-Tree is not Sirisha or Acacia ; it is
Asvattha or holy Pippala. The foliage, leaves and small round fruits confirm
this identification. The trees standing on three sides of the Bodhi-Tree
and turned towards it are also Asvattha. The hanging garlands in the side openings
presuppose royal umbrellas over the small Jewel seats of the Buddha. These are,
according to Barhut convention, a distinctive feature of a scene connected with the
present life of Sakyamuni. lt is no less important that two royal personages are
seen perambulating the Bodhi-Tree and shrine, with joined hands, held in front. lt
is very probable that the scene is based upon stories similar to those of the Kalitiga-
bodhi-Jataka and its Introductory Discourse (F. 479).
The citizens of Sravasti wanted a place in Jetavana for worship of the Buddha
in his absence. When the Master was away from the city, the people once came,
bringing fragrant wreaths and flowers as offerings, which they laid by the gateway
of the Perfumed chamber (Gandhakuti). AnathapiQQika brought the matter to the
notice of Ananda, who well understood the people's need. He was told by the
Master himself that the Bodhi-Tree used by a Buddha was the fittest shrine to pay
reverence to during his life. With the Master's permission he made up his mind to
plant a seed of the great Bo Tree before the gateway of Jetavana. He did all that
1 !:tupa of Bharhut, pp. 115-116, 119, 121.
JA T AKA-SCENES 33
was necessary to make it a great function. He procured a seed, fixed a fine evening
and placed on the selected site a golden jar, with a hole in the bottom, filled with
earth moistened with fragrant water. He informed King Prasenajit, the banker
Amlthapiryc;lika, the lady Visakha, and others who were faithful and interested. They
all came. He requested the king to plant the seed, handing it to him. The king
passed it to Anathapiryc;lika, commanding him to do the work. The banker stirred
up the soil and dropt it in. In an instant there sprang up a Be-sapling, fifty cubits
high ; on the four sides and upwards shot forth five great branches of fifty cubits in
length. "So stood the tree, a very lord of the forest already ; a mighty miracle.
The king ...... caused to be set there a long line of vessels all full, and a seat he had
made of the seven precious things, golden dust he had sprinkled about it, a wall
was built round the precincts, he erected a gate chamber of the seven precious things.
Great was the honour paid to it." The elder then humbly approached the com-
passionate Master and prayed that he might be pleased, for the people's good, to
use this tree and sit beneath it for the rapture of Attainment. The Master did so
during one night, granting the prayer. The function was celebrated as a Bo Festival
(Bodhimaha) and the tree was known as Ananda' s Bo (Ananda-Bodhi). This
very Ananda was, in one ot his former births, born as Kaliryga, the monarch of
Kalitiga, gifted with supernatural powers. He could fly through the air. One day,
he and his learned Brahmin chaplain, mounted on an elephant all white, were
travelling in the sky. The elephant came all on a sudden to a dead stop. He was
urged to go on, but pass he could not. The chaplain descending from the air, be-
held the throne of victory of all Buddhas, the navel of the earth, and the circuit around
the great Bo Tree beyond which none could pass. But the king would pierce the
elephant with goad again and again, urging him on. The elephant was unable to bear
the pain, and ultimetely he died. The king being told he was dead, created another
beast of good breed by his magical power. The king now sat on his back, and at that
very moment the dead elephant fell upon the earth. He understood the quality of
the Bo circuit and terrace. He and his Brahmin chaplain humbly worshipped the
great Bo Tree, with melodious sound of music and fragrant wreaths, and set a wall
round it. The commentator adds, among other details, that he caused a gold-
pillar to be set in the ground, eighteen cubits high. It was a wonder indeed to see
grass, creepers and trees all as though standing in reverence all about with their
faces turned towards the throne of the Bo Tree.
We hold that the Barhut sculptor has sought to represent by the same bas-relief
the introductory episode as well as the past of the Kalingabodhi- Jataka,
with the result that the two royal personages doing reverence to the Bo Tree and
9
34 BARHUT
shrine can be identified with King Prasenajit and Banker AnathapiQdika in one
instance, and with King Kalitiga and Brahmin chaplain in the other.
7. PI. XVII. W. Gate. Corner. AjataSatru Pillar. Right Side. Lower
Bas- Relief [Scene 46] ~ T h i s has-relief presents in the centre a
jewel-seat, no doubt, of Buddha Sakyamuni, usually canopied
The Buddha per-
forms the Twin- by a royal umbrella with hanging garlands, at the foot of a
miracle in Sravastl full-grown mango-tree with nve main branches and many
at the foot of b h f fl d f Th b" J b
Gar;cja's Mango-tree. unc es o owers an rmts. e cu JCa seat ears upon tt
uumerous leaf and flower marks, which may be impressions of the
offerings made. The frieze of the front side shows a continuous rope, chain and
pot design. Nine men stand in front of the seat, and six on two opposite sides,
three on each side, all eagerly witnessing and watching some unusual phenomenon
before them, with hands placed below their chins either joined in an act of supplica-
tion or clasped in an act of clapping. In fact, from their manner of standing, general
behaviour and attitude it is clear that an orderly crowd of men has gathered round
the terrace, struck with awe, adoring and admiring. Five men, who stand behind
the seat, in line with the tree, three on the right and two on the left, are distinguished
from the rest by their superior dignity, necklaces and drapery. There is nothing
particular to note in the mode of expression of three of these men, who stand behind
on two sides, two on the right and one on the left. The man on the right, who
stands by the tree, holds his lower lip, gently pressing it between the first two Angers
of his left hand, while with his upraised right hand he holds a folded loose upper
garment, worn on shoulders, i.e., a uttarasatiga, evidently waiving its upper end.
This is certainly a mark of distinction of the individual, as well as of the man who
stands just opposite to him as the chief figure in the whole gathering, similarly
waiving the upper end of his folded garment, which is much longer as it passes round
his back, over his upraised right arm and suspended left palm, leaving yet sufficient
length for the hanging lower end. He wears, as an additional mark of distinction,
also a breast-piece, hanging below his necklace. The presence of the mango-tree
and jewel-seat in an episode of Sakyamuni's present life forms the real crux of identi-
fication, and this can be removed by explaining the details as relating to the famous
scene of the Twin-miracle (J:'amaka-pratiharya), lying far beyond common human
powers, performed by the great Buddha in Sravasti, at the foot of GaQqa-
mbarukkha, GaQqa' s Mango-tree. Buddhist literature contains, upon the whole, two
different accounts, one in the Pali
1
and the other in the Sanskrit Buddhist works
2
,
I Introductory eptsodes of the Sarabhamiga and Jayaddtsa Jatakas (f. 483, 513) ; Yamakara\ihariyavatthu in
the DhammapadaComy: Stnhalese version quoted in Hardy's Manual of Buddhism, pp. 300-308; etc.
2 Divyavadana, pp. 143-166; Ttbetan version in Rockhill's Life of the Buddha, pp. 79-80; etc.
JA T K ~ S C E N E S 35
which agree in their general outline and underlying purpose, but differ in certain
important details. In the former, the site of miracle is near the city-gate of Sravastl ;
in the latter, the spot is located between Sravastl and jetavana. In the former, King
Prasenajit attends with his retinue as a witness, as one of the onlookers and audience;
in the latter, he acts as referee. In the former, the supporters of the six heretics
make a pavilion for them and Sakra sends down V1svakarma to build a jewelled
pavilion for the Buddha ; in the latter, Prasenajit causes pavilions to be made for the
Buddha and the heretics. In the former, the miracle is performed under Gary<;la's
Mango-tree ; in the latter, under the Karryikara-tree, fetched by the gardener Gary<;laka
from Uttarakuru and planted before the Miracle-pavilion, and the Asoka-tree,
fetched by the gardener Ratnaka from Mt. Gandhamadana and planted behind this
pavilion. In the former, Prasenajit waits on the Buddha, taking Anathapiryqika
with him ; in the latter, Anathapiryqika finds no mention. In the former, the seats of
the gods and angels present in the gathering are not specified ; in the latter, Brahma
and other angels attend, taking their seats, on the right hand side of the Exalted One,
and Sakra and other gods attend, taking their seats on the left hand side. In the
former, the Buddha walks up and down a jewelled walk which he had caused to be
made ; in the latter, he sits on a high lotus-seat which the Dragon-chiefs Nanda and
Upananda had brought down. The two human figures standing on the right hand
side of the tree may be taken to represent Brahma and other angels, and the three
figures on the left hand side to represent Sakra and other gods. Leaving this point
aside, the Barhut artist seems to have followed a tradition more in line with the
Pali as will appear from the following summary :-
Taking advantage of the Buddha's injunction prohibiting his followers to
perform miracles, the six Heretics sought favour with the people by their boasted
claims to superhuman powers and feats. The Buddha taking up a suggestion from King
Bimbisara, resolved to perform the Twin-miracle in Sravastl to humble their pride.
In the month of Asha<;lha the Buddha arrived in Sravastl, where near the city-gate
the six Heretics induced their supporters to erect a magnificent pavilion with pillars of
acacia or khadira wood. covered with blue lotus flowers. King Prasenajit offered
to erect a pavilion for the Buddha. But the Buddha prevented him saying that
Sakra would make the pavilion. Hearing that the Buddha would perform the
miracle at the foot of a mango-tree, the Heretics took care to destroy all mango-trees
for a league around and monopolise all mango-seeds. On the full-moon day of
Asha<;lha, Gary<;la, the king's gardener, found out a ripe mango in a basket of leaves
made by red ants, and offered it to the Buddha, who handed over the stone to the
gardener, asking him to plant it in the ground. He did as he was told. The very
36 BAR HUT
moment he washed his hands, a mango-tree sprang up, with a stalk as thick as a
plough-handle, flfty cubits in height. Five great branches shot forth, each fifty cubits
in length, four to the four cardinal points, and one to the heavens above. Instantly
the tree was covered with flowers and fruits ; indeed on one side it bore a cluster
of ripe mangoes. The king gave orders to post a guard. The tree being planted by
GaQqa, became known as GaQqa' s Mango-tree. Sakra, the king of the gods, sent
Visvakarma to make a pavilion of the seven precious things, twelve leagues in compass
covered all over with blue lotus. The gods of ten thousand spheres were gathered
together. According to the Sinhalese version, the gods assembled around, unseen
by all but the gardener. The deity Wind-cloud uprooted the pavilion of the Heretics.
The Sun-deity checked the course of the suns to scorch them. The elements
conspired to render their stay impossible. They fled helter-skelter. In the Dhamma-
pada-Commentary we read that the Teacher erected a jewelled walk in the air,
walking up and down which he performed the promised miracle. At the approach of
evening, there assembled a large crowd of men, who sent up shouts of praise,-
clapping their hands and waiving their loose upper garments, as the Sinhalese version
says. Some of the Buddha's disciples and adherents, male and female, old and
young, offered to perform miracle, far beyond the power of the Heretics. The
teacher refused permission to all. In performing the miracle, the Teacher preached
the Law to the admiring multitude from time to time. Even he created a reflex or
double (abhinirmita) to ask him questions. When he was seated, his double walked
up and down, and vice versa.
Evidently the Barhut has-relief follows a simpler story, known at the
time.

PI. VXII. W. Gate. Corner. Ajatasatru Pillar. Right Side.
Upper Bas-Relief [Scene 4 7] :-This square panel, like the rest that adorn the
Ajatsatru Pillar, is placed between two tall pillars with octagonal shafts and bell-
capitals composed evidently of Asvattha-leaves of the holy Bodhi-Tree of Sakyamuni.
DevarohaQa :
Buddha's Ascent to
the World of the
lt shows a magnificent two-storeyed celestial mansion, the upper storey
of which is usually provided with a Buddhist railing at the base, and
covered by a long vaulted roof, with some nine small pinnacles on
gods of the the top. The storey contains not less than five square halls with
three and preaching
of Abhidharma. outward projections and return wings, each of which is provided in
front with an arched door or window and a garland hanging there-
from. In the midst of the lower open hall we see a cubical altar throne of Buddha
Sakyamuni, covered up with some flower designs between three leaf-stripes or
JAT AKA-SCENES 37
garland marks. It is canopied by a royal umbrella, with garlands hanging from its
rim, and it stands at the foot of a full-grown tree with green verdure and peculiar
majesty, six smaller branches spreading out uniformly from the central branch. Two
flying angels approach and hover round the tree, showering flowers by the right hand
out of a flower-shaped vase or receptacle, carried by the left. The gods have
assembled together on four sides of the jewel-throne, all seated cross-legged in four
rows, with their bodies covered by the upper garment donned on the left shoulder, and
right shoulders left uncovered. Those in the front row face the throne, some sit
behind, others in compass, with joined hands and solemnly gaze at it. As all
are dressed alike, it is difficult to distinguish one from another. But it can be
seen that the joined hands of two of the deities on the left, who are seated on the
right hand side of the tree, touch the upper edge of the throne. The same holds true
of a deity on the right, who sits on the left hand side of the tree. The depicted scene
is obviously that of the Buddha's preaching of Abhidharma to his mother, now a god
of the Thirty-three, in the midst of an assembly of the dwellers of this heaven. The
tradition catalogues this incident by a cogent label, Devaroharya, Ascent of the
Buddha to the World of the gods.
In aJil but the J:'amakapatihariyavatthu of the Dhammapada-Commentary and
its Sinhalese
2
or Burmese
3
version, we have u much shorter account which may be
summed up in these few words : After he had done the Twin-miracle, the Buddha
went up to the Heaven of the Thirty-three, where he began the season of rains, and
seated upon the yellow-stone throne (pary<Jukambala-silasana),
4
under the great
Coral-tree, Erythmia lndica (Paricchatra, Parijata}," discoursed for the space of
three months upon the higher method and doctrine of Abhidharma, to his mother
and other gods of the Thirty-three, in the manner of all previous Buddhas."
The story of the Dhammapada-Commentary narrates, among other details, that
when the Teacher seated himself on the yellow-stone throne to expound the
Abhidharma to his mother, the deities of ten thousand worlds surrounded and waited
upon him. As he sat there, outshining by his glory all the other deities, his mother
(now a male deity) approached from the Palace ofT ushita, and took her seat on his
I Atthasa!tni, prologue; Sarabham1ga-Jataka, Introduction iF. 483); D1vyavadana, pp. 349, 401; Rockhill's
Life of the Buddha, pp. 80-8).
2 Hady's Manual of Buddhism, p, 3GO.
3 B1gandet's Life or Legend of Guadama, I p 224.
4 Rockhi\l's rendEring from the Tibetan is-'the slab of white otone.'
5. Accordmg to Rockh!il's rendering of the T1betan account, "m a beaut1ful grove of Parijataka and KobiJaraka
trees, he instructed h1s mother and a host of devas."
10
38 BARHUT
right hand side ; the god lndra likewise approached and sat down on his right hand,
while the god Ankusa sat down on his left side, twelve leagues apart. Thus seated
in the midst of the assembly of the gods, for the sake of his mother, he began the
teaching of the Abhidharma-Pitaka for the space of three months without interruption.
When it was time for him to go on his round for alms, he would create a double to
do the work. During this time he was visited only by the Elder Sariputta. When
his discourse had been over, his mother was established in the Fruit of Conversion.
The Barhut has-relief takes no cognizance of details of the Ascent. Although
the allotment of seats according to ranks of the deities on the right-hand and left-
hand sides is probably a notable point of agreement with the above Commentary-
story, beyond a doubt it follows a simpler scheme which agrees with the shorter
accounts.
9. PI. XVII. W. Gate. Corner. Ajatasatru Pillar. Right Side.
Middle Bas-Relief [Scene 48] :-Here Cunningham observes a triple ladder that
occupies the middle of the scene with a Bodhi-Tree and a Vajrasana at its foot. The
DevavatoraQa: ladder is a triple flight of solid stone steps, similar in all respects to the
Buddha's Descent single flight of steps which was found at W. Gateway of the Barhut
by a Triple ladder Stupa. There is one footprint on the top step, and a second foot-
at Samkasya from f
the World of the print on the bottom step of the middle ladder. These are the oot-
Traya5trimsa gods prints of the Buddha (with wheel-marks) forming in his absence the
and proclamation of invisible objects of reverence. A number of spectators on all sides
Sariputra's great
are intended to represent the crowd of kinos, ministers, and people,
power of compre- o
hension of the Law. who, according to Fa H ian, flocked to Samkasya to await the return
of the Buddha. Three flying figures, who represent, no doubt, the crowd of deities,
carry flowers and garlands. The scene truly represents the Buddha's Descent by the
great Ladder from the T rayastrithsa Heaven
1

This, treated as a general description, is well and good. We welcome Cunning-
ham's identification. But we are not convinced that the tree on the right hand side
of the triple ladder is a Bodhi-Tree or the cubical seat at its foot, covered over
with the lotus marks and canopied by the royal umbrella and hanging garlands, is a
Vajrasana. The tree under which a Buddha attains Buddhahood or any of its offshoots
is technically the Bodhi-tree. Similarly the seat upon which a Buddha remains seated
when he penetrates Sambodhi, or any seat built in its exact imitation and sanctified
I Stupa of Bharhut, pp. 91-93.
JATAKASCENES
39
by the Buddha by sitting upon it as he sat when he attained Sambodhi, is technically
the Vajrasana. As the tree is not A'svattha, it cannot be the Bodhi-tree of
Sakyamuni. It appears to be the heavenly tree Kovidara, Bauhinia Variegata,
though, according to the Tibetan account
1
, we m i ~ t have expected to flnd here a
representation of the Udumbara or Fig Tree. All the persons who have gathered
together on two sides of the ladder are not represented as mere spectators, awaiting
the Buddha's return. Anyway, the persons seated cross-legged and with joined
hands, in front and on the right hand side of the jewel seat, represent a congregation
of hearers, listening to the words of the Master, who must be discoursing on the Law,
while a flying angel, hovering over the tree, is scattering flowers by the right hand out
of the familiar receptacle, carried by the left. Twelve persons, who stand with
joined hands in three rows, on the left hand side of the ladder, truly represent the
crowd of spectators, watching the Buddha's Descent. From their apparels they
appear to be deities rather than human beings. None of the two flying angels,
hovering above on this side, brings garlands and carries flowers. One flying by the
ladder is seen holding up the outer end of his loose upper garment by the right hand,
while he puts the flrst two flngers of his left hand between his lips as if whistling.
The second angel flying behind him, scatters a shower of flowers in the usual manner,
a fact noticed in Hwen Thsang' s short description
2
The representation of the
triple ladder is not without its 'significance. It is so long and steep that the steps
rather look like flutters of a window.
The legend of the Buddha's Descent at Samkasya by a ladder has been
variously told in different Buddhist works. The fact that its main points are
the same in all the accounts does not minimise the importance of difference in
respect of the details. The common point in all the accounts is that the Buddha
descended by the middle one of the three ladders, escorted by Brahma and Sakra,
the former walking down by the ladder on the right hand side, and the latter by the
ladder on the left hand side, of the Divine Teacher. As regards the details, the
Tibetan account, quoted by Rockhill, is an elaboration of short notices in the
Divyavadana} and Fa Hian' s notice is nothing but an elaboration of the Tibetan
account. In these three accounts we are told that the Buddha on his return to the
earth was flrst greeted by the nun Utpalavarl)a, transformed by the Teacher's divine
power into a Chakravarti-raja. Another common point is that the Master was
I Rockhill's Life of the Buddha p. 81
2 Quoted in the Smpaa of Bharhut, pp. 22-93
3 Divyavadana, pp, 384, 401.
40 BAR HUT
accompanied by innumerable gods. Regarding the details, the Tibetan account adds
that being informed by Maudgalyayana that the people were anxious to see him
the Buddha desired to get down to the path of men. He visited many abodes of
the gods, teaching them the truth, after which he descended to the earth by a ladder
of lapis lazuli, while Brahma, bearing a jewelled yak tail, descended by a ladder of
gold on the right hand side, together with all the angels of the Rupaloka, and Sakra
or lndra, bearing a hundred-ribbed parasol over him, descended by ladder of crystal
on the left hand side, accompanied by all the gods of the Kamaloka. A new point in
this account is that while in the T rayastrimsa world, the Teacher was seated in the
heavenly grove of the Parijata and Kovidara trees, and when he came down, he
seated himself at the foot of the Udumbara-tree in Anjanavana of Sathkasya. Fa
Hian says : it is the ruling princes, ministers and people who assembled to await
the Buddha's return, and not indefinitely the crowd of men. He also adds that
Brahma caused a silver ladder to appear on the right hand side, while Sakra caused a
bright golden ladder to appear on the left. A totally new point in Fa Hian' s
notice is that after the Buddha had returned, the three ladders all disappeared in
the earth except seven steps. Hwen Thsang differing from Fa Hian, records that
it is lndra who set up all the three precious ladders, the middle one of gold, that
on the right hand side, of silver, and that on the left hand side, of crystal. He also
records that the three original ladders completely disappeared, while the people
set up three other ladders similar to them, made of stone and brick. A new point in his
record is that the crowd of deities, who accompanied the Teacher, rose aloft into
the air and scattered a shower of flowers. In the Introductory episode of the
Sarabhamiga-Jataka (F. 483), we read that after the Terminal Festival
of the Lent had been over, Sakra ordered Visvakarma to make a stairway
to descend into the world of men. He placed the head of the stairway upon the
peak of Mt. Sumeru, the Indian Olympus, and the foot of it by the gate of
Samkasya, between which he made three descents, side by side, one of gems, one
of silver, and one of gold, the balustrade and cornice being made of the seven
precious things. The Master having performed a miracle, descended by the middle
descent made out of gems. Sakra carried the bowl and robe, Suyama a yak's tail
fan, Brahma a sunshade, while the deities of ten thousand spheres worshipped him
with garlands and perfumes. The Buddha was first greeted by the Elder Sariputra
at the foot of the staircase. Amid the assembly that gathered round him, the Master
went on asking questions, the most difficult one being answered by Sariputra. Thus
his chief disciple's great wisdom was made known to all. A much longer and almost
an independent account is contained in the ;{amakapatihariyavatthu of the Dhamma-
JATAKA-SCENES 41
pada-Commentary, where we read, among other details, that the deities headed by
Sakra, descended upon the ladder of gold on the left hand side, and Mahabrahma
and his retinue upon that of silver on the right hand side, while the Master himself
walked down by the middle ladder of seven precious Jewels. Sakra had caused
these ladders to be created. Mahabrahma accompanied the Master, bearing a parasol,
and Suyama, carrying a yak's tail fan, Paficasikha, the celestial musician, descending
on the right hand side, did honour to the Buddha with the notes of his sweet celestial
lute of vilva wood, and Matali, the charioteer, descending on the left hand side, paid
honour with celestial scents, garlands and flowers. On all sides round there was a
vast congregation of gods and men, who stood on the ground in an attitude of
supplication. A parmanent shrine (acalacetiyaHhana) appeared on the spot where the
Teacher set his right foot on the ground.
The Barhut scene has nothing to do with the details about Brahma, Sakra
and other deities accompanying the Teacher. The ladders are represented alike. The
crowd of onlookers and that of hearers are composed of deities. A shrine is
represented on the right hand side of the ladder, though the tree is not the Fig as it
should have been according to the Tibetan account. The appearance of flying
angels scattering flowers and of the crowd of deities is completely in accord with
Hwen Thsang' s description.
lO. [Missing] Vanacathkamo Parireyo.
1
"The woodland resort Parileya."
A serious misundurstanding broke out among the Buddha's disciples, the
Bhikshus of Kausambl, dividing them into two camps. The Teacher advised and
Buddha spends a
rainy season in a
forest, betng waited
upon by the
Pd.rileya elephant.
entreated them not to quarrel over a small matter and amicably settle
their dispute. But they would not listen. Seeing that he appealed to
them in vain, the Teacher went alone, leaving them to quarrel, to a
solitary woodland, where he spent one rainy season, being waited
upon by the Parileya elephant. Meanwhile the pressure which the
lay supporters of the Order brought to bear upon the Bhikshus com-
pelled them to come to terms. They sent a deputation to the Teacher, with Ananda
as the leader to beg pardon and persuade him to come away from the forest.
The elephant saw him off till he passed out of the forest and died on the
spot when he passed out of his sight, to be reborn into a blissful state in
heaven.
1. Barua Sinha, No. 166.
I1
42
BARHUT
11. PI. XVI. W. Gate. Corner. Ajatasatru Piller. Left Side. Lower Bas-
Relief [Scene 51] bows down in obeisance to the Divine Master."
Ajatasatru Bhagavato vathdate.
1
Cunningham rightly observes that within the narrow limits of the small has-
relief the sculptor has contrived to represent three different phases of the story of
King Ajata.Satru King s visit to the Buddha. First, we have the king's
enters Jivaka's procession to the garden ; then, his dismounting from the elephant
Mango-grove to near the dwelling place of the Buddha ; and lastly, his devotion at
wait upon the
Buddha, the Bodhimaryqa, or Throne of Buddha, which is the symbol of the
Buddha. After the murder of his father, the king being unable to sleep,
sought the presence of the Buddha, by the advice of his physician ]ivaka, in the hope
that the great Teacher might ease his troubled mind. The king left his palace at night
by torchlight, mounted on an elephant, and accompanied by 500 women, also on
elephants, and a still greater number on foot. This part of the scene is represented
in the lower part of the has-relief, where the king, driving his elephant with his own
hand, is followed by several women on elephants, while an attendant carries an
umbrella over his head. There is no room for the representation of the city-gates of
Rajagrha. Of the garden of Jivaka under the Vulture's Peak, there is only one trace.
In the Ceylonese version the women, who were mounted on elephants, are said to
have carried weapons in their hands. Here they carry only elephants' goads, and
these were perhaps the only arms of the original story, which were afterwards con-
verted into weapons. In the second portion of the scene, the dismounted king
stands with his right hand raised in the attitude of addressing his followers. No
doubt this is intended to represent putting the question to ]ivaka, "Where
is the Buddha ?" or "Which is the Buddha ?" In both the Indian and the Ceylonese
versions the Buddha is described as being seated near the middle pillar of the vihara.
Here the Buddha himself is not represented at all ; only his footprints are seen on
the step or footstool in front of the Bodhimaryqa throne. The inscription shows that
is worshipping the Buddha's footprints.
1
There is indeed some distinction between the Canonical and Commentary
versions of the story. But this distinction lies only in the matter of detail, without
involving any serious disparity. The Commentary version, whereupon the Ceylonese
account is based, serves to give a fuller description of the pompous royal procession
within the city of Rajagrha and till the king entered ]ivaka' s Mango-grove, which
I Barua Sinha, No. 107. I Stura of Bharhut, pp. 89-90
JA T AKA-SCENES 43
was situated, according to Buddhaghosha, between the outer wall of the city and the
Mt. Grdhrakuta. It does so without any prejudice to the Canonical version. The
Barhut scene has nothing to do with this part of the story. The simplicity in the
entry of the king and his female attendants (not to say guards) into ]lvaka' s garden
is what really adds charm to the story and the scene. The fact that the female
guards, now acting as mere female companions, are dressed no longer as men, and
do not carry any weapons in their hands, is precisely in keeping with the spirit of
the underlying story. We do not see any or Buddha's Throne in the
scene, nor do we see the king Ajatasatru worshipping the Buddha's footprints.
The construction shown in the bas-relief is not strictly speaking, a vihara or
monastery. What we do see is a an open-pillared and covered
platform, on the right end of which is the cubical jewel-seat of the Buddha, usually
canopied by a royal umbrella, from the rim of which flve garlands or flower-wreaths
are hanging. The ornamented seat bears upon it the familiar garland and flower
designs, and shows on its front side a garland design, having below it the undulating
folds, and having above it the full-blown lotuses and human hands alternating with each
other. The two footprints, placed side by side on the platform below, just in
front of the cubical seat, are intended to represent the quarter, facing which
the Buddha sat upon the seat, resting his feet on the floor. According
to the Canonical story, the Buddha was at the time sitting, leaning
against a middle pillar, facing east; and conforting the congregation of the
Bhikkhus. The is here represented as an open-pillared shed, with two
rows of octagonal pillars, supporting a flat rectangular roof, composed of beams
and rafters and adorned with a line of a small crenellated battlements. The name
mandala-mala was generally applied to two kinds of building construction : (I) in
some instances, to a circular one-peaked house, thatched, round a single peak, in
the duck-and-quail style ; and (2) in some instances, to a circular waiting-hall,
surrounded by a set of pillars. But in this instance, as Buddhaghosha points out, it
means a sitting-hall, put up in a park or garden, accessible to the public.
1
A burning
oil-lamp is seen hanging from the ceiling of the roof on the left side of the jewel-scat.
King Ajatasatru kneeling down on the ground, bends his head low, touching the seat
1 Sumangala-VJ!asml, Siamese Ed. 11. p. 256 : "ldha maQc)alamalo viharo t1 adhippeto."
I Sumangala-V,\asinl, S1amcse Ed. I. p. 58:
"Katthachid eva kannika gahetva hamsa-vattaka-channena kata kutagarusolapi mandata-
malo ti vuccati. Katthaci ekam ka1mikam gahetva thambhapantim pankkhi}Jitva kata
upatthana-sala pi mandala-malo ti vuchchati.
I dha pana nisidina-sala mandala-malo veditabbo."
44 BAR HUT
with his forehead and hands, while in an earlier phase, shown on the left, the king
is seen gently advancing with joined hands towards the Master's seat, followed by
his four female companions, also with joined hands. In this this king stands beside one
of the octagonal pillars. The lower half of the has-relief presents a good view of
Jlvaka' s Mango-grove, showing two mango-trees with hanging bunches of fruits.
Here the king, who has dismounted from the elephant, stands on the right, between
the trees, holding the breastlet between the forefingers of his left hand, while with
his right hand raised before him he asks others to proceed very cautiously, making no
noise. His attitude shows that he is seriously thinking of something. The elephant
on whom the king had mounted still remains kneeling down upon the four legs, while
the female attendant sitting on the elephant's back, just above the tail, holds the goad,
restraining the violent movement of the animal. In the left we have a still earlier
phase, showing the peaceful entry and arival of the royal procession in the garden,
with the king at the head. The four elephant majestically stand side by side and
one behind the other, the one ahead bearing the king on his shoulder, and each of the
three standing behind bearing a female attendant. The attitude of the king and his
female attendants, each holding the goad and the elephant's head by means
of two hands to restrain the motion of the animal as a preparation for dismounting
is interesting. But we also notice that some one holds a garlanded parasol over the
king's head from behind. The scene of dismounting clearly shows that the umbrella-
bearer is a female attendant, sitting on the same elephant, behind the king. Each
of the elephants is nicely caprisoned. Thus we can make out four phases in place
of three suggested by Cunningham : (I) Arrival of the king in Jlvaka' s garden and
preparation for dismounting, (2) Dismounting, (3) Advance towards the Master's
seat, and (4) Obeisance to the Master. Nothing would be more curious than that
Jlvaka should be absent from the scene or that his Mango-grove should indicate his
invisible presence. If the man who stands with joined hands, ahead of the female
attendants, by a middle pillar of the be Jlvaka, we can presume that
he came on the same elephant with the king, his seat having been between the king
in front and the female attendant behind. If he be Jlvaka, the phases must be
counted as three, and not as four. The background of the scene is in the Cononical
story of which the Pali
1
and Sanskrit versions (the latter preserved in Tibetan
translations
2
) show almost a complete agreement. The Pali Commentry version
3
is
important in places where it serves to fill the lacuna. The story is as follows :-
I Samaiiiiaphala-Sutta of the Difha-N1kii. ya, I.
2 Rockhill's Life of the Buddha, pp. 95-97 ; Burnouf's Le Lotus de la bonne Loi, p. 45 I.
3 Buddhaghosa's Commentary on the Pali Sutta; Spence Hardy's Manual of Buddhism, pp. 333-337.
JAT SCENES 45
lt was a seasonal and Festival, a glorious night, when
Ajata!iatru, the king of Magadha, was seated upon the terrace of his magnifkent
palace, surrounded by his courtiers. Since he caused his father's death, he
was unable to sleep quietly. lt was a beautiful night, but he was not at ease. He turned
to his courtiers and asked them to suggest the name of a teacher whom he might wait
upon for a religious conversation, and who might ease his troubled mind. They suggested
the name of this teacher or that teacher, whom they knew to be the best. When
all talked out, Jlvaka, the royal physician, remained silent. The king turned to him
for a suggestion. He suggested the name of the Buddha who resided at the time in
his with 1250 disciples. "Sire, there is the Blessed One, who is a
teacher of many, who is honoured by many, who is revered by many, and who is
passing the summer here at Rajagriha in my "Go, good ]lvaka,
and have the elephant got ready." He had the king's elephant got ready, and flve
hundred female ones on which rode five hundred women of the palace; bearing
torches. The king majestically mounted his great elephant, and went forth from
Rajagriha, accompained by flve hundred female attendants with torches in their hands.
Buddhaghosha adds that the king passing out by the eastern gate of the city, entered
Jlvaka' s garden, under the cover of Mt. Gridhrakuta the peak which kept the moon
out of view and shades of the trees made the path appear dark and gloomy.
"Friend Jlvaka", said the king, "do you not want to kill me, ensnare
me, or do you not wish to deceive me, or deliver me over to the
executioner, to my adversaries, or to my enemies ? How is it that though,
as you said, there were 1250 disciples with the Master, no voice can be
heard, and a dead stillness prevails ?" "Sire, the Blessed One likes a
low voice, and as he extols a low voice, his disciples speak softly. Have
no suspicion, Great King. Be not afraid. Gently push your elephant on.
The oil-lamps are burning in the younder resting shed". Going as far as the
path permitted in the interior of the garden, the king dismounted from the
elephant and walked on foot, and on reaching the doorway of the
shed, inquired : "Where is the Blessed One ? What is his appearance ?
"Sire, the Blessed One is he who is seated in the midst of the
tion of the Bhikshus, near the middle pillar, facing east." He cast a glance
at the Bhikshus who remained quiet and silent, the Master appearing as if it
were that he was seated in the midst of a calm and placid lake." "Would
it be," wished the king, "that my son Udayabhadra will have this calmness
of spirit !" He went up to the Master, and putting his upper garment over
one shoulder, touched the ground with his bended knee, and with clasped
12
46 BARHUT
hands discussed some points concerning the visible reward of religious life.
"What think you, Great King, have I not shown that there is a visible reward
for a life of virtue ?" "Of a truth, you have, my Lord", said the king, approving the
words of the Great Teacher.
12. PI. XIII. Railing-Pillar. S. Gate. Inner Face. [Scene 52] :-
Raja Pasenaji Kosalo.
1
"King Prasenajit of Kosala."
Bhagavato Dhamachakarh.
2
"The Dharmachakra of the Divine Master."
This is a flne piece of sculpture representing a scene of the visit of
King Prasenajit of Kosala to Buddha, the Enlightened Teacher. Here
Cunningham notices a two-storeyed building enshrining the Dharmachakra
or the Wheel of the Law as a symbol of the Buddha and occupying all
Dh h
. the upper portion of the bas-relief save a narrow strip on
ammac etlya-
Sutta. King Prasenaj1t's each side. In these strips, as he observes, one can see the head
last interview With the and tail of the procession, the whole of the lower half being
Buddha. occupied with the main body and the gateway of the palace throu<3h
which the king has just passed. He flnds the leader of the procession to be a foot-
man, closely followed by a horseman, whose back only is represented together
with the hind part of his horse. Next comes, to continue his observations, another
footman, all of them who have turned upwards to the left being closely followed
by the king in a chariot drawn by four horses abreast. The horses are gaily capari-
soned with lofty plumes and plaited manes. The king is attended by a man
holding the chauri, and a second holds an umbrella over his head. The third
is the charioteer behind the chariot is the palace gateway, through which three followers
are passing. Their heads only now remain, as the whole of the lower right
corner of the sculpture, including the horses' legs and the greatet portion of the
chariot wheels, has been broken off. Behind the <3ateway, and advancing towards it,
are two other followers mounted on elephants who close the procession. The
interest of this remarkable scene is naturally divided between the great King Prasenajit
and the famous Buddhist symbol of the Dharmachakra which here takes the place of
the Buddha himself. This symbol is probably intended as a type of the advancement
of the Buddhist faith by preaching, and thus becomes an emblem of Buddha the
Teacher, in the same way that the BodhimaQqa is used as a symbol of Buddha the
1
, , Barua Sinha, Nos. 168-169.
JAT AKA-SCENES 47
Ascetic. The Wheel, has a garland hanging from its axle, and is surmounted by an
umbrella ngured with garlands, having on each side a worshipper standing with joined
hands upon his breast in an attitude of devotion. The lower storey of the
Dharmachakra-shrine is an open-pillared hall standin'6 on a plinth or basement orna-
mented with Buddhist railing. The upper storey has two projecting rooms pierced
with arched windows covered with semi-circular hood-mouldings, while the wall in
the centre and beyond the projecting rooms is ornamented with a line of Buddhist
railing. Above it springs the barrel vault roof with two gable ends, and a line of
ei'6ht small pinnacles on the ridge. This edince is no other than the PuQyasala erected
by King Prasenajit in honour of the Buddha in the city of Sravastl, his royal
capital. The large Wheel-symbol occupies the middle of the front part of this
building.
1
Such is the graphic description of the scene quoted above, almost verbatim,
from Cunningham. Here we have nothing else to do than clear up certain points.
Is the edince with an open-pillared hall, containing the Dharmachakra-symbol,
the PuQyasala erected by King Prasenajit near Sravastl ? Who is the man
standing within this hall in an attitude of devotion on two sides of the symbol ?
Is the gateway noticed by Cunningham really the palace-gateway ? These
questions cannot be answered until the subject of the sculpture is ascertained.
But this is certain that the bas-relief represents a grand royal procession, as well as
a solemn scene of King Prasenajit' s interview with the Buddha. The personnel of the
procession includes, besides the king, the four divisions of his army, classically known
as the Elephant, the Horse, the Chariot and the Infantry. In this particular represen-
tation, the procession is headed by the Horse and closed by the Elephant, in between
the two are placed the lnfantary and the Chariot, the Infantry or Footmen coming
next to the Horsemen. The progress of the procession is shown by a double
representation of each unit, one behind the other. We wonder how Cunningham is
led to think that the footmen closely followed by one horseman, is the leader of the
procession. Apparently there are two horsemen closely followed by two footmen ;
in reality one horseman and one footman are shown twice as an artistic device for
representing their onward march. Similarly the chariot is represented twice, Rrst
under gateway just at a point where one could see the heads of the horses and the
head probably of the kin<J. The elephant, too, is shown twice moving on towards
the <Jateway. There are really not two worshippers inside the Dharmachakra-hall
but only one in two attitudes, and he is no other than the king himself. In the Rrst
I. StOpa of Bharhut, pp. 90-91, 119.
48 BARHUT
attitude to the left he seems to wait upon the Master, and in the second attitude to
the right, he is retiring, keeping the Master in his front as a mark of respect.
Several visits of King Prasenajit are recorded in Buddhist literature. Here only
his last visit seems to have been represented. Here is a scene not only of his last visit
but that of the entire Dhammachetiya-Sutta which describes it. The Dharmachaitya
or the eloquent edifice of tribute from the king, which was construed to be an
imperishable memorial to the glory of the law. In this sculpture M. Foucher
finds a scene of the great miracle performed by the Buddha at Sravastl. This is
not at all convincing. We must select a story which can account for the royal
procession as well as the Dharmachakra-hall and the king's presence within. The
Dhammachetiya.Sutta alone can explain these details.
1
lt tells us that at one time King
Prasenajit came to inspect Nangaraka, which was a town bordering the Sakya-terri-
tory. One day, the king went out for a walk in the beautiful woodland in the
suburb, with the magnificent pomp befitting his high position as the monarch of
Kosala. A grand procession was organised with his army and all the best Vehicles
and equipages. The Chauri, the Umbrella, and other royai insignia bore out his dignity.
From this woodland he drove as far as Ulumpa or Medalumpa, which was the nearest
Sakya town. He went to the arama where the Master was then sojourning.
According to the Majjhima-Nikaya-Commentary, he ordered to keep the elephants
waiting outside the town, that is, outside the city-gate. His chariots and other
vehicles proceeded as far as the road permitted. On his arrival at the arama, he left
his diadem, sword and shoes in the custody of his Commander-in-Chief, who
accompanied him. He saw the Bhikshus walking and resting peacefully under an open
sky round about the place. The Master was then in his private chamber-gandhakuti,
the door of which was shut from within. He knocked at it from outside and it was
opened from within, letting the king in. His heart was at the time very much troubled.
He compared and contrasted his care-worn life as king with the peaceful life of the
Master. He soon took leave, retired and came out only to find himself deposed,
forlorn and overtaken by a tragic end.
13. PI. XXXI. 2. [Scene 53] :-Atana maramta [pi]/
"Even if they be dying."
This is the second square panel which is largely occupied in the middle by a
Dharmachakra-shirne. The shirne, as in the preceding scene, is a two-storeyed
I Other Versions of the story in the Bhaddasala-Jii.taka (F. 4S5), Vicjucjabha-Vatthu in the Dhammapada-
Commentary, Hwen Thsang's Travds in Beal's Records.
49
building, of which we have jnst a front view. The upper storey is usually
Vic)Jc)abha's march separated from the lower by a Buddhist railing and provided
on Kaplavastu. with two arched windows or doorways, each a
Non-v1olent atti-
tude ofthz Sakyas. ;arland. Four small piliars of an form can be seen
Bu:Jdha's mtervzn- between these arched and these support a solid roof with
tion and ns eff
2
ct. semi-circular ends and five small pinnacles. The lower storey is, to
all appearance, a square open-pillared hall; two front pillars have each an
shaft and a bell-capital, a lotus shape for its pedestal, an ornamental bracket
for its abacus, and a plinth of three square slabs of stone, maintaining symmetry
with the shaft and other details. A highly ornamented wheel is set up inside the
hall, with an ornamented square seat below, over which it can revolve. A
large piece of flower-wreath is hanging from its navel, which, too, is beautifully
ornamented. The wheel is canopied by a parasol, with two
from its rim. On each side of the square seat a woman is bowing down
in a kneeling posture, while a man with appearance is standing with
joined hands, in an attitude of reverent supplication. lt is possible that just a
couple of man and woman is doing the worship ar:d perambulation. Under the tree
on the right we see the front part of a chariot, drawn by two horses,
whose bodies are covered all over with nets. A king is majestically seated in the
chariot, with a royal umbrella, held over his head from behind by a man,
whose head remains concealed behind that of the charioteer, who is seated
beside the king, holding the reins. The king with his right hand upraised in
front seems to ask the charioteer to restrain the motion of the chariot. lt is
manifest from the attitude of the heads and forelegs of the horses that he has done
what he was asked to do. In the left a richly caparisoned elephant is passing through
the arched doorway of a gate-chamber. lt is curious that the same e!ephant going
as far as the tree in the upper corner, is unable to advance further. The mahut who
sits down on the shoulder of the elephant is violently piercing the animal's head with
a causing an excruciating pain, which the elephant fnds himself unabie to bear.
He grasps an outer branch of the tree with his trunk, while his body shrinks down
and shrivels up. A comparison with the preceding scene will at once show that the
present scene is but a sequel thereof. The presence of the Dharmachakra-
shrine, combined with the superior style of sculjJture and other details, leaves no room
for doubt that what we here have is only a sequel of the Pali Dhammachetiya-
story which, in its Majjhima-Nikaya version, end:> with a reference to King
Prasenajit' s tragic fate after his last interv;ew with the Buddha. His aide-
de-camp Dlrghacharayarya, who had <grudge against him, helped Prince Viquqabha or
13
50 BARHUT
Virliqhaka to usurp the throne of Kosala, taking advantage of his mental worries and
absence from the capital. Prince Viquqabha was a son of Prasenajit by a queen,
who was the of Mahanama, the Sakya chief, and a slave-woman. He was
treated with contempt by the S3kyas when he visited Kapilavastu. He did not forget
the disgrace to which he was put by a people whom he approached as his kinsmen.
What he did to satisfy his grudge is not narrated in the Dhammachetiya-story of the
Pali Nikaya. There are these four main versions of the legend : (I) Pali
version in the present story of the Bhaddasala-]ataka (F. 465) and the Viquqabha-
vatthu of the Dhammapada-Commentary, (2) Sanskrit Buddhist version in the
Virliqhaka-story of the Avadanakalpalata, (3) Tibetan version reproduced by
Rockhi!P, and ( 4) Chinese version in Hwen Thsang' s T ravels.
2
The common point
in all these versions is that in order to feed fat his ancient grudge, King Viquqabha or
Yirliqhaka advanced with a large army against the Sakyas, and as he reached the
boundary of his kingdom, he found the Master seated beneath a tree that gave
scanty shade and stood on the boundary of Kapilavastu. Hard by that place, a
shady tree stood on the boundary of Kosala. According to the Pali verson, the
latter tree was a banyan. Viquqabha seeing the Master thus seated, alighted
from his chariot, and said, respectfully approaching him, "Why, Sir, are you sitting
there under so thin a tree in all this heat ? Why do you not sit here under this
umbrageous tree, Sir ?" He replied, "Let it be, 0 King ! the shade of my kindred
keeps me cool." The other thinking the all-powerful Master had come to protect
his clansmen, returned to his capital, sa!uting him. In the Pali story we read that
three times he marched and returned on account of the Master's intervention. The
fourth time he set out, but the Master did not go, seeing it was impossible to save the
Sakyas who sinned asainst each other. The label refers to the non-violent attitude
of the Sakyas, taking advantage of which Viquqabha, according to the Viquqabha-
vatthu and Viruqhakavadana, slew all the Sakyas except Mahanama and his family,
and those who fled away. There is no allusion to this in the ]ataka-story or in Hwen
Thsang' s account. The Viquqabhavatthu and Viriiqhakavadana tell us that all the
Sakyas took a strong vow to remain non-violent to the last, even if they died. The
latter goes a step turther and says that they expelled their clansman Sampaka who
gave battle, not previously knowing their decision. The very wording of the Barhut
label, atana maramta pi, occurs in the Viqiiqabhavatthu. The Tibetan account
agreeing in all points with the Avadana story, adds that when Viruqhaka marched with
his troops to Kapilavastu, those among the Sakyas who were not Buddhists brought
I Rockh1ll's Lite of the Buddha, pp. 77-78; 116-122.
2 Bea\'s Buddhist Recotds of the Westem World, 11. p. 11.
JAT AKA-SCENES 51
together their men to repulse him, and those who were Buddhists and averse to
killing anything carried cudgels and goads to cut the bow-strings and strappings,
though at last they with a united resolve issued a proclamation prohibiting all from
attacking Viruqhaka or his army.
The Bar hut scene represents just the first episode where the Master's timely
intervention compels Viquqabha to go back to his capital. The tree on the Sakyan
boundary is other than the banyan. The royal personage inside the Dharmachakra-
hall may be King Viquqabha himself, though the presence of the female worshipper
remains unexplained. It is equally possible that the worshippers are Sakyas, men and
women, who are taking a strong vow to remain non-violent to the last.
14. PI. XIII. S. Gate. Prasenajit Pillar. Side. Upper Bas-Relief [Scene
54] :-In this bas-relief and the following one Cunningham finds two highly decorated
representations of Buddhist stupas. These stupas are not mere
Mahacannirval).l. :
Bu:l.lha's Gr,at mounds of earth or piles of stones, heaped up over dead bodies as
Decease. Cremation memorial monuments, such as the great barrows at Lauriya to the
of hi> body. Build- north of Bettiah. These are structural monuments of stone or brick,
ing of the memorial
rr.ound. Erect1on of raised to enshrine the bodily relics of a Buddha, or of some holy
the stone-p1Ilar. Arhat, or of a powerful king. These, as represented in the Barhut
sculptures, are masonry structures of the same form, and are adorned with the same
amount of umbrellas and garlands, as those in the bas-relief of the Sanchi T ope.
The main feature in these structures is the dome which is hemispherical, standing on a
cylindrical base, ornamented with small recesses for lights, r r n ~ e d in patterns. On
the top of the hemisphere there is a square platform, decorated with a Buddhist
railing, supporting the crowning umbrella. Two streamers are shown hanging from
the edge of the umbrella. Two large flowers spring from the top of the square
pedestal on which the umbrella rests, and two other flowers from its base. The dome
itself is ornamented with a long undulated garland suspended in loops from pegs.
These garlands are still used in Burma, where they are made of coarse flowered or
figured muslins, in the shape of long cylinders or pipes extended by rings of bamboo.
The stupas are here represented as objects of worship
1

The masonry structures in these two bas-reliefs are not to be treated
as mere objects of worship. They have a distinct bearing on a scene from
Buddha Sakyamuni' s life. Although these two bas-reliefs deal with the
same theme, namely, the legend of Buddha's Great Decease, and have
many points in common, such as the Stupa, two pairs of the twin Sala-trees,
1 St::pa of Bharhut, pp. 6, 110.
52
BARHUT
the of worshippers, and the pair of flying angels, each has a peculiar
artistic distinction of its own. In the Bas-relief concerned, the stupa stands
prominently in front, with one worshipper on each side, a male worshipper on the
and a female worshipper on the left, both on the sitting on the
heels, and honouring the sacred memorial mound lovingly embracing it.
The sEipa, as shown in the bas-relief and described by M. Foucher, is 'a chief
Buddhist sanctuary which is the tumulus, its principal role being to cover up a
deposit of relics. lt is a stereotyped edifice of brick or stone, presupposing the art
of the architect and utilizing that of the sculptor. Its chief feature is a full hemispheri-
cal dome, usually raised on a terrace. The dome (ary<;la) supports a sort of
kiosk (harmika), itself surmounted by one or several parasols, and emblem of
honorilk signification in the east.'
1
The terrace or cylindrical base is composed of a high
Buddhist railing with four cross-bars and a between three circular bands,
and shows a remarkable masonry work of two ornamented flags, each of which
is a long strip, attached to a pliant flagstaff, borne upon it, and bent in the middle so
as to form a flat curve on the top. The harmika or crowning construction,
two parasols, one above the other, is a shrine in the shape of a broad-headed pillar.
Behind the stlipa there are two pairs of the twin Sala-trees in flower, each
pair of trees standing in a line, at some distance from each other, and
all forming a court. Two flying angels, coming from two sides, remain
poised in the air, one of them letting a flower-wreath fall from the two hands,
and the other scattering flowers with the right hand out of a vase carried
by the left, The lower Sala-tree on the left is hidden from view behind a group of
three high personages, standing together with joined hands. In front of these
worshippers there stands an isolated pillar which is set up aside, behind
the stGpa, and has, like the Asokan monoliths, a beiLcapital, below a bracket
ornamented with a lotus-shrub, while four lions manfully stand on the
ornamented abacus, facing the four cardinal points. Here the high bracket
and the octagonal shaft are the points of distinction from the Asokan mono-
liths. We see a second group of worshidpers on the right in front of the lower
Sala-tree, standing, one behind the other, with joined hands. The underlying legend,
as narrated in different Buddhist works, is in the main as follows :-
During his last tour in Northern India, which had commenced from Rajagriha,
the Buddha reached at last the Sala-grove of the Mallas, within the outer extension
of Kusinagara, on the further side of the river Hiraryyavatl. He was weary, and
1 of Bu3dhist Art, p, 13.
JAT AKA-SCENES 53
liked to lie down. Ananda spread a covering over the couch with its head to the
north, between the twin Sala-trees. He laid himself down on his right side resting
one leg on the other, and remaining mindful and self-possessed. The twin Sala-trees
were all one mass of bloom with flowers out of season, these dropping, sprinkling
and scattering all over his body. The heavenly Mandaraka flowers and sandal-
wood powder were showered down from the sky. The heavenly music was sounded
in the sky, and the heavenly songs came wafted from the skies. Buddhaghosa
records an old tradition which says that there was a row of sa la-trees at the head of the
couch, and another at its foot, one young sala-tree being close to its head, and another
close to its foot. The twin Sala-trees were so called because the two trees were equally
grown in respect of the roots, trunks, branches and leaves.
2
The gods of the ten
thousand world-systems gathered together to behold him. For twelve leagues
around the Sala-grove there was no spot which was not pervaded by the powerful
spirits. The Mallas, with their young men, maidens and wives, came grieved, sad
and afflicted at heart, came to the Sala-grove, to see him for the last time. They
stood in groups, each family in a group, and each group was presented to him.
They humbly bowed down at his feet. He gave instructions to Ananda as to the
true mode of worship, as to the persons worthy of a memorial mound, as to
the manner of dealing with women and as to the method of disposal of his
body. The Wanderer Subhadda was converted to his faith. He recounted the
former glory of the present town of Kusinara. He urged his disciples to be earnest,
zealous and intent on their own good. In the third watch of the night he passed
away, extinguishing the light of the world. The Mallas spent seven days in making
preparations for the funeral. On the seventh day his body was carried across the
Hiral)yavatl, in a golden coffin-box to the site of the Mukutabandhana shrine of the
Mallas, where it was cremated with all the pomp, grandeur and demonstration that
a man can conceive of. The bones collected from the funeral pyre were kept in the
Mallas' Council-hall with a lattice work of spears and a rampart of bows, where
these were worshipped for seven days. Drorya, the wise Brahmin, divided the relics
into seven equal portions, distributing them among seven royal claimants, the ashes
forming an extra portion which he took for himself. The Mallas put up a sacred
cairn over their share of the bodily remains, celebrating a feast in their honour.
1 Cf. Rochhtll's Ltfe of the Buddha, P. 135.
2 Rhys Davids' translation of tbe Budohist Scttas, S. B. E. Vol. XI, p. 85, f,n. I. Fa Hian says, "The Buddna
lay wtth his read to the north and a Sa.la-tree on either side cf htm." Hwen 1hsang refus to four Sa la-
trees of an unusual heisht, indicating the place where the Buddha passed away.
14
54
BARHUT
Fa Hian says that the Lichchhavis, who had not obtained a share, erected a stone-pillar
twelve leagues to the south-east of Kuslnara. In the Divyavadana (p. 394) we
read that when King Asoka came to Kuslnagara on pilgrimage, he spent a hundred
thousand pieces in erecting a shrine. Hwen Thsang says that on the spot, where the
Buddha lay between the twin Sala-trees, King Asoka built a stupa, erected a stone-
pillar before it, with an inscription recording the fact of the Great Decease, without
mentioning the date of the event. Buddhaghosa, at the end of his commentary on the
Mahaparinibbana-Suttanta, records an apostolic tradition, according to which King
Asoka built here a great stiipa to enshrine a portion of the relics in exact imitation
of the mound, formerly built by King Ajatasatru and the heavenly architect
Visvakarma.
The Barhut scene depicts a bare symbolical outline of the Buddhist legend,
referring to such facts as the Buddha's passing away between the twin Sa la-trees,
the building of the memorial mound, the erection of the stone-pillar by Asoka, and
the worship by the gods and men. Here the stupa indicates the invisible presence of
the Buddha.
14 (a). PI. XXXI. I. Long Rail. [Scene 55] :-This is the second bas-relief
which represents a scene of the Buddha's Great Decease at Kuslnagara, followed
by the erection of the memorial mound. This sets forth all the
Mahaparinirvii.t;>a :
Buddha's Great De- details noticed in the preceding bas-relief, omitting the fact of erection
cease at Kuslnagara. of the stone-pillar by King Asoka. Here the base of the stiipa is
Building of the ornamented with a railing with three cross-bars and human hands,
StOpa. Worship by
and not with a railing with four cross-bars and a garland. In the
gods and men.
place of two flags we have here two lotus-like wheels, the Dharma-
chakra-symbols, with hanging garlands, attached to two sides of the shrine in the
crowning construction. Instead of a male or a female worshipper bowing down
on each side, here we see one pair bowing down by turns, and perambulating the
stupa, the male figure standing up with joined hands and the female worshipper bowing
down on the right, the female figure standing up in a similar attitude and the male
bowing down on the left. In the right, behind the stupa. a high personage is seen
standing up with joined hands, and in the act of circumambulation. In this scene
the stupa is placed between a pair of twin Sala-trees in flower, and these between
another pair of much taller twin Sala-trees. If the stupa be taken as a mere symbol
of the Buddha's presence, the scene is neither more nor less than that of the Buddha's
final passing away on a couch laid between the twin Sala-trees, in the Sala-grove
of the Mallas.
JAT AKA-SCENES
i1 (a) SOME INTERMEDIATE SCENES
FROM SANTIKE-NIDANA
I. PI. XXVIII. 4 [Scene 56]


"The lndrasala-cave".
55
This base-relief has been injured by the cutting away of both sides of the
circular medallion to flt the pillar as an architrave in one of the cenotaphs at
Batanmara. In the middle part which now remains with the inscribed
At the lndrasala-
Jabel above it, Cunninoham notices lndra' s harper, the ood Pancasikha,
cave the Buddha l'> l'>
offers replies to represented on the left side with a large harp in his hands. The
the questi"ns of seated flgures in the middle are lndra and his companions. The
Sakra. b h d
Buddha's invisible presence is indicated y the t rone canopie by an
umbrella. The rocky nature of the mountain is shown by piles of rock above the
cave.
2
Among other details, the cubical seat of Buddha bears some flower and
garland marks, and two garlands are hanging from the rim of the umbrella. Sakra
and other gods are seated cross-legged, with joined hands, in an attitude of reverent
supplication, Pancasikha grasping the narrow upper part of the harp within the fold
of his joined hands. The cave shows a rocky floor and a polished inside. A
small lndrasala-tree is shown on the upper ridge of a cave, growing among the
piles of rock. Two monkeys are seen sitting on cubical rocks, facing each
other, while two bears peep out through the holes beneath the piled up rocks. The
artistic purpose is simply to represent the climbing up and down of the monkeys
and the going in and coming out of the bears. According to Cunningham' s inter-
pretation of the incised label, the has-relief contains a scene of "lndra' s Hall Cave".
Fa Hian and Hwen Thsang name the cave lndrasaila-guha (In-to-lo-shi-lo-kia-ho),
"The cavern of lndra", or, as Beal would take it to mean, "The mountain cave
sacred to lndra." The name lndrasila-guha occurs in an Indian Buddhist inscription
found in Ghosrawa in Behar. The Pali lndasala-guha which exactly corresponds
to the Barhut form is interpreted by Buddhaghosa as a upanidhapafifiatti, i.e., a
name derived from an object standing near at hand, say, as here, an lndrasala-tree
marking the entrance of the cave. We read in the Sakkapanhasuttanta of the
Digha-Nikaya that the cave belonged to Mt. Vediyaka, the Altar-hill, lying to the
north of a Brahmin-village called Amrashary<;la, the Mango tract, and to the west of
Rajagriha. Buddhaghosa says that the cave was situated between two hills, and
that the range was called Vediyaka because it was surrounded on all
l Smha, N0. 164. 2 Stupa of Bharhut, pp. 88,89.
56 BAR HUT
sides by grassy and flowery woodlands, looking like so many maiQvedikas,
grown at its foot. Fa Hian locates it nine leagues to the south-east of Pataliputra,
and Hwen Thsang locates it about 30 li to the east of the town KalapiQaka. The
latter gives the following description of the mountain and the cave : "The precipices
and valleys of this mountain are dark and gloomy. Flowering trees grow thickly
together like forests. The summit has two peaks, which rise up sharply and by
themselves. On the south side of the western peak between the crags is a great
stone house, wide but not high. Here T athagata in old time was stopping when
Sakra, king of devas, wrote on the stone matters relating to forty-two doubts which
he had, and asked Buddha respecting them. Then Buddha explained the matters.
Persons now try to imitate by comparison these ancient holy figures. Those who
enter the cave to worship are seized with a sort of religious trepidation."
1
According to description in the Pali Suttanta, "At the time when the Blessed One
entered it, the lndrasala-cave which was uneven became even, which was narrow
became wide, which was dark became lighted, as if by the superhuman powers of
the gods.
2
" Buddhaghosa says that after having been surrounded with kuQqas,
fitted with doors and windows, done up into a cave-dwelling with the finest chunam
plaster, and adorned with the garland and creeper designs, the cave was given to the
Blessed One."
3
The Buddhist legend underlying the scene is as follows : -
The Blessed One was then residing in the lndrasala-cave when Sakra, long
desirous of paying him a visit, sent his harper, the god Pancasikha, to arrange for an
interview. Pancasikha, on entering the cave, began to sing certain stanzas, admittin<s
of a twofold interpretation, setting forth the glory of the Buddha and speaking in
praise of the heavenly maiden, Suryavarchasa, with whom he fell in love. The praises
of the pure being and the praises of evil were thus mingled together in the same
strain. His voice was accompanied by the tune of his harp, twelve leagues in
length. Sakra and his companions, as they entered the cave, made due obeisance
to the Master, and respectfully sat on one side. By the merit of this salutation the
term of his life, which had nearly ended, was considerably extended. With the
Teacher's permission he stated his doubts which he wished to have solved. He
asked some thirteen questions (forty-two, according to Hwen Thsang), which were
answered by the Master. He and his companions listened to the answers,
and obtained light. As a reward for Pancasikha' s service, he gave him
Suryavarchasa.
4
I Beat's Buddhist Records of the We>tern World, Il. pp, 1 1 ~ 0 1 ; lntrod. p. lviii. 2 D1gb, 11 : pp. 269-270.
3 Sumangala-Vilasini, Siamese Ed. 11, p. 392. 4 Spence Hardy's Manual of Buddhism. pp. 2)8-300.
JATAKA-SCENES
2. [Missing] :-Dhataratho Yakho.
1
"Dhritarashtra, Y.aksha."
57
Dhritarashtra, the guardian of the eastern quarter, finds mention along with his
three compeers in several Buddhist legends as a benefactor of the divine dispensation
Dhritarashtra of the Buddha. At all important junctures of the life of Buddha
guards the eastern s/ -k . h . 'd h . h h' . t d ff h
. h a yamun1, e IS sa1 to ave come Wit 1s retmue o war o t e
quarter paytng om-
to the Buddha. dangers and pay homage to the Bodhisattva and Buddha now and
again. He by his epithet is a holder of the royal sceptre, a maharaja who is the
supreme lord of the Gandharvas. He rules the eastern quarter of the lowest
Kamavachara heaven. His queen is said to have attended Queen Mahamaya during
the whole period of her maternity, from conception to delivery. In the Mahasamaya
and Atanatiya Suttas he is represented as having many powerful sons bearing the
same name lndra. Accordi11g to the Atanatiya Discourse, he guards the eastern
quarter with the help of Siiryya, seven constellations, ei'6ht heavenly maidens and
the Chapala (Pavala, Pravala, Coral) shrine. He figures on the Barhut Railing-pillar
as the Warden of the Eastern Entrance. This representation accords most with the
description in the Atanatiya Discourse.
2
3. PI. XXI. 1, 3 [Scene 58] :-Viruqako Y.akho.
3
"Viruqhaka Y. aksha."
The under life-size figure of Viruqhaka Yaksha is sculptured on the outer side
of the southern terminus pillar of the S. E. Quadrant. The upper part of this side,
above the head of the Y.aksha, is ornamented with a Buddhist stupa.
Viruqhaka Yaksha
guards the southern The figure is standing on a high rocky ground where some brooks
quarter, paying
homage to the
Buddha.
and a sandal-wood tree can be seen. Like other Y.akshas, Viruqhaka
wears various ornaments and stands with joined hands directed
towards the invisible presence of the Buddha. In the Buddhist
legends he figures as a terrible warrior god who is the supreme lord and leader of
the Kumbharyqas or Danava-rakshasas, that is, of the demons and goblins inhabiting
the southern region. He rules the southern quarter of the lowest Kamavachara
heaven. According to the Atanatiya legend, he guards the southern quarter with the
help of Y.ama, his general, seven constellations and eight heavenly maidens.
The part played by him, his queen, many powerful sons and large retinue is similar
to that of Dhritarashtra and his men. Though the picture is based upon the Aianatiya
1 Barua S1nha, No. 171.
2 in the lil, A;:i.na;,ya-Sutta ia t,1e Sc.rtasa:i3a'1a, Lalita-Vmara, Ch. XXIV;
Mah:J.vastu, Ill. pp. 306-309.
3 B:J.rua Sinha, f\.:o. 172.
15
58 BARHUT
legend, he really appears at Bar hut as a Warden of the south entrance of the
Buddhist Stlipa and Railing. The notable feature of his figure is a five-fold scarf
passing over his arms and round his back through his arm-pits.
4. [Missing] :-Virupakho

"Virupaksha Y.aksha."
Virupaksha is the evil-eyed warrior-god who is honoured throughout Buddhist
literature as the supreme lord and leader of the Na'5as or dra'5ons.
Virupaksha Yaksha H
guards the western
quarter, paying
homage to the
Buddha.
He rules the western quarter of the lowest Kamavachara heaven. e
guards the western region with the help of Varurya, his general, seven
constellations and ei'5ht heavenly maidens. He with his queen, many
powerful sons and large retinue played the same part in the life of
the Buddha as Dhritarashtra and Viruqhaka. He must have figured at Barhut as a
Warden of the west entrance of the Buddhist Stupa and Railing.
5. PI. XXII. 1 [Scene 50] :-Kupiro Y akho.
2
"Kuvera Y. aksha."
The fi'5ure of Kuvera Y.aksha is sculptured on the inner face of one of the pillars
with the above inscription recording his name. He remains standing with joined hands
held on his breast and directed to the invisible presence of the Buddha. His apparel
and ornaments are similar to those of other Y.akshas. His feet rest
KuveraYakshaguards on the shoulder of a fat-bodied and big-bellied man who sits
the northern quarter, JJ f . J d Th' f h'
. h
1
on a ours, m a craw mg attttu e. ts representation o tm answers
paymg omage o
the Buddha. to his description in the Lalita-Vistara,S the Brihatsarhhita
4
and the Khila-
Harivathsa5 as a Naravahana, 'One with a man for one's vehicle', and
not to his description in the Suttanipata-Commentar/ as a Narivahana, 'One with a
woman for one's vehicle'. His weapon of war which is a club ('5ada) is not here
represented. In the Buddhist and Indian works, he is well-known as Vaisravarya
Kuvera, the god of riches, the giver of wealth (Dhanakuvera, Dhanada). In the
Pali Atanatiya-Suttanta, he is described as the sole monarch of Uttarakuru, with
Visharya, Alakamanda or Alaka as its capital. Atanata, Kusinata, Parakusinata,
Natapuriya and are the various cities, built in the firmament. The
land of Uttarakuru is situated about the Mahameru of glorious sight. Here men are
I Barua Smha, No. 173.
2 Barua Sinha, No. 174.
3 Lalita-Vtstara, CS. XXIV.
4 Brihatsartthita, X. 57 : Naravahana\:1 Kubero vam:ikirl\1 brihatkukshi.
5 Khi\a-Harivartt5a, Harivarttsaparva, XLIV. 16-19.
6 Paramatthajotlka, 11. p. 370. Also Mahavarpsa.
59
free from the idea of private ownership, the crops grow of themselves and rice grows
without husk, the birds sing with a sweet voice, and the people go hither and thither
using men, women, boys, girls, elephants, horses, chariots and palanquins as con-
veyances. There is, in the capital city of unsurpassed glory, a lake, called Dhararyl.
from which the clouds pour down rain. Bhagalavatl is the Council-hall where the
Yakshas meet for deliberations. Kuvera is said to have many powerful sons, bearing
the same name. ludra, Soma, Varurya, Bharadvaja, Prajapati, MaQibhadra, and the
like are mentioned as the great Yaksha-generals. In the Lalita-Vistara version of the
Atanatiya-Suttanta we read that Kuvera, the suprme lord of the Yakshas, guards the
northern with the help of MaQibhadra, his eight constellations of stars,
and heavenly maidens. A similar account is also met with in the Mahavastu.
His queen was one of the maids of Queen Mahamaya during her dream.
PurQaka is mentioned in the Vidhurapal)Qita-]ataka as the nephew of Kuvera. In
the Buddhist cosmography, Kuvera appears to be one of the four gods who
ruled the northern quarter of the lowest Kamavachara heaven. At Barhut he is
represented as the Warden of the northern entrance of the Buddhist Stlipa and
to Pauranic etymology, Kuvera means Kutsita or 'deformed'
and this refers to the malformation of his three In modern representations
he appears as But, as Cunnin<gham points out, there is no allusion to
any deformity in the Buddhist books, while there is a distinct testimony to the
contrary. From the Pauranic description of Vaisravarya Kuvera as the son of
Visravas and lravira, and the of Pulastya, he is led to think that Kuvera
corresponds with the Greek Ploutos, the god of wealth, who, to Hesiod, is
the son of lasion by Demeter.
1
6. PI. Indian Museum. Corner-Pillar Statue. No. 38 (5) a[Scene 61] :-
Ajakalako Yakho.
2
"Ajakalaka Yaksha."
This is the label inscribed above the fi<gure of the Yaksha, named Ajakalaka,
clearly distinguished from ordinary human figures. His dress, drapery and ornaments
T
. fA. k-t k are similar to those of Suchiloma. He stands holding a blossoming
amtng o Ja a a a
or Aiakalapaka lotus-bud between the first two fingers of his right hand placed across
Yaksha. the side of his breast. The peculiar mudra of these two
are also shown on his left hand suspended touching his left thigh.
He stands his right erect and so bending his left leg that its heel rests
across his ri<ght and toes touch the vehicle beneath his feet. The upper part of
I Stt::pa of Bharhut, p. 21. 2 Barua Smha, No. 175.
60 BARHUT
the vehicle is broken off. The portion that remains shows that it has the tail of a
makara and the of a lion or A J!aksha by the name of Ajakalapaka
appears as interlocutor of a Buddhist in the Udana, which briefly states the
result of his unexpected and undesired interview with the Buddha, the teacher of gods
and men. This lays its scene in on a spot where the Y. aksha' s
temple and palace stood. to the Udana-Commentary, his temple and
mansion were situated in Pava. The says that the Y. aksha furious to
see the Master seated in his throne inside his mansion. "Akkula-Bakkula"
he cried, and produced various terrific to the fearless and strange
trespasser who ventured to enter his sanctuary. But the Master remained firm in his
seat and invincible. The purity of his heart overcame the fury of the J!aksha. Over-
powered by his bold calmness, the demoniac deity stood, in all
humility, before him, his faith, with his joined hands, as a lay believer.
What did he mean by his cry 'Akkula-Bakkula.' and what are the terrific
caused to be produced by him ? The Udana-Commentary answers these
questions. He shook th'! earth, covered it with impenetrable darkness, raised
violent storms, accompanied by heavy pourings of rain, thunder-claps,
flashes, breaking of mountain-peaks, of trees, and roarings of the ocean-
waves, as if the final dissolution overtook the world-system, a
commotion (kolahala) in the whole of the ]ambudvlpa. The noise of this commotion
reached the ears of men in the onomatopoetic sound 'Akkula-Bakkula'. According
to some, this jargon was but a Prakrit form of 'akula-vyakula,' expressive of a
fearful restlessness. Some that by 'akkula' or 'akula' the Y.aksha meant he was
a ferocious destroyer like a lion, a tiger or such other womb-born wild beast, and by
'bakkula' he compared himself with a venomous snake or reptile. Others suggest,
on the contrary, that the correct form of the threat was 'akkhula-bhakkhula', by the
first of which he signified his desire to kill and by the second, to devour in the
manner of a demon, a goblin, a blood-sucker, a lion or a
This description is as suggestive of the frightful nature of the
There is no doubt that the Pali Ajakalapaka is the Ajakalaka of the
inscription. Dr. Hultzsch rightly suggests that Ajakalaka is but the Sanskrit
Adyakala, whom we might take to be a terrible embodiment of the ruthless unborn
Time, destroying living beings whose essence is immortality. The Barhut sculpture,
coupled with the evidence of the Udana-Dialogue and its commentary, to show
that in both the mythic cult and popular art, the all-devouring figure of Time or
Death came to assume a stereotyped human form. In connection with the origin and
significance of the name Ajakalapaka, the Udana-Commentary records that the
JAT K ~ SCENES 61
Yaksha loved to receive offerings along with the group of goats brought to him for
sacrifice, that he caused living beings to be killed like goats, as well as that he felt
appeased when men brought him offerings with the cry of the goat, the symbol of
of the unborn(aja). The Yakshas was a hard-hearted and cruel personality, capable
of supernatural powers. But so potent was the miracle of the Buddha's presence and
instruction that it soon subdued the Yaksha into a gentle listener to the noblest
message of the man.
7. PI. XXI. 1. [Scene 62] :-"Gatigeya Yaksha
Ga1hgito Yakho.
1
This scene presents the figure of a demigod who stands with joined
hands held on his breast and directed presumably towards the invisible presence of
the Buddha. He wears six pieces of bracelets instead of four. His
Tammg of Gingeya d
Yaksha. feet rest on the head of an elephant an on the top of a tree, the
elephant and the tree standing side by side. His drapery, the rest
of his ornaments and other details are similar to those of Suchiloma, described in the
following scene, No description of Gangeya can be traced in Buddhist or Indian
literature. His name shows that his abode and the temple dedicated to him were
somewhere on the bank of the Ganges, that he was a dweller of the Gangetic region.
There must have been a distinct Buddhist Discourse, the Gatigeya-Sutta, giving an
account of the demi-god, as well as of the circumstances that led to his conversion
to Buddhism, This Sutta must have contained a description of the terrors caused by
him before he was tamed by the Buddha.
B. PI. XXII. 2. [Scene 63 J :-Suchilomo Yakho.
2
"Suchiloma Yaksha-the needle-haired demi-god."
The Barhut sculpture represents this demigod in the shape of a man
standing on a straight roof, consisting of a massive stone-slab. This roof
covers a railing-like wall in which a set of pillars are joined by three
Taming of theneedle-
haired Yaksha. rail-bars. A neatly bound turban with a ball-shaped crown is worn
on his head. He stands with his bare feet, decently clad in a garment
covering up to his knees, with beautifully done up foldings in the front, reaching down
to his feet. His waist-band is a fashionable girdle with the finest embroidery. The
bangles adorn his wrists. His arms are decked with armlets. He also wears splendid
necklaces over his neck and breast. A fine drapery hangs down over his back at
full length. His skin is glossy rather than needle-haired. He appears indeed as a
prince of India in the grandeur of his joined hands placed slantingly across the
I Barua Sinha, No. 176. 2 Barua Sinha, No. 177.
16
62 BARHUT
left side of his breast. He is doing an act of salutation to some body, left to be
imagined. To whom are his joined hands directed ? This question cannot be
answered unless we presume that here is not only a representation of the Yaksha but
that of a Buddhist Dialogue where he is an interlocutor. We come across
two versions of a discourse of the Buddha answering questions put to him by
the Yaksha, one in the Samyutta-Nikaya and the other in the Sutta-Nipata.
2
These
supply the context and go to show that here the Yaksha is earnestly listening to an
edifying discourse from the Buddha, the tamer of a person amenable to discipline
(purisa-damma-sarathi). The texts describe him as a powerful and ferocious dweller
of Tamkitamaiicha, a T am-house-platform near a village of Gaya, and an associate of
another Yaksha, named Khara. The commentaries supply some additional information
about the Yaksha, his dwelling house and associate. The information is as follows :-
"The T amkitamaiicha was a T am-shaped elongated platform. lt was really a
cell looking from a distance like a mound constructed of four stone slabs supporting
a larger piece covering them like a roof, These were similarly covered by another
slab below. These covering slabs were so strongly rivetted to the four supporters,
forced into the tenons, that when turned upside down, the house remained the same.
Adjoining it was a famous bathing tank where many pilgrims came to bathe. But
the place was dirty on account of spitting, nose-secretion and throwing of filthy
matters by the persons coming from various directions. The body of the Yaksha was
covered with prickle-like hair, which served as a means of offence and defence.
Whenever he wanted to frighten other beings he did so by raising his hair
erect. This description reduces him to the position of a porcupine. He was
associated with another Yaksha, Khara, the roughskinned, of the Kumbhira or
crocodile species, covered with rugged skin, marked by bony plates or bricks, set
side by side. He, too, victimised other beings by frightening them with his scales
suddenly raised erect. In the Ramayanic association Khara and Suchiloma appear
as two hideous looking human-shaped goblins Khara and Dusharya, the two brothers
and generals of Ravarya or Airavarya, guarding the Godavarl forest region.
Suchiloma is represented in the Barhut has-relief in the shape of a man,
distinguished from ordinary human figures by the pendent earrings and conspicu-
ous ear-holes. The Yaksha stands in a subdued manner, gentle and affable.
Thus the Barhut sculpture illustrates the marvellous miraculous effect of the
Buddha's presence and instruction. Suchiloma, the needle-haired porcupine, is now
a suchiloma, the handsome human being.
1 Sarpyutta, l. P. 2Ct. 2 Sutta-Nipata, If. Sutta No. 5.
JAT AKA-SCENES
63
9. PI. Indian Museum. 43 (10) b [Scene 64] :-
Supavaso Yakho.
1
"Supravasa, the dreadful
Here we see the representation of a -llgure of the demigod Supravasa,
standing with joined hands, directed towards some invisible presence, no doubt of
the Buddha. His vehicle is represented as a caparisoned elephant
Taming of the with the trunk turned upwards, its back side the crown, and
Y aksha Supravasa.
kept erect in a reverential attitude. He wears in each hand six
bracelets, instead of four. In other respects his -llgure is exactly similar to that of
Suchiloma. The incised label records his name as Supavasa or Supavasa Yakha.
If Supavasa can be equated with Supravasa or Supravrit, as has been done by Dr.
Hultzsch, we may expect to see in the Barhut a later stereotyped human form
of the Vedic Parjanya. But the name of the demigod may be supposed
to have been derived from a locality called Supravasa. A by the name
of Suvarryaprabhasa is mentioned, with Elapatra, in a Buddhist legend.
2
There
is a Sanskrit Buddhist work the title Suvarryaprabhasa-Sutra. There must
have been an earlier Suppavasa-Sutta containing a story of the taming of the dread-
ful by the Buddha. He must have been very much annoyed when he saw
the powerful Master in his abode as a fearless trespasser who ultimately subdued
him transforming a dreadful demigod into a human listener.
10. PI. Cunningham's Original Photograph. [Scene 7] :-The inner
face of a terminus pillar, recently brought into the Indian Museum, Calcutta,
Some unknown
Yaksha
presents a broken figure of a demigod who, in the absence of a
cobra-hood characterising the figure of a Dragon-chief, must be taken
to be a Yaksha. In this instance the demigod stands manfully on the
ground, keeping together his two feet. The attitude of the remnant of his right hand
indicates that he was intended to stand with joined hands, in an attitude of respect.
The high-bound turban is a notable point in his livery.
1 1. PI. Indian Museum. Right Terminus Pillar. Inner Face.
[Scene 64a ]. :-The inner face of this pi liar, recently brought into the Indian
Some unknown
Yaksha.
Museum, bears the figure of a demigod who stands with joined hands
and without any canopy of cobra-hood, resting his feet on a bearded
and human-faced quadruped. The fragment of the inscription incised
on this pillar retains the word Yasika which is either the name of the donor or that
I Barua Sinha No. 178. 2 Rockh1\\'s L1fe of the Buddha.
64 BAR HUT
of the demigod. Like other Yakshas and Nagarajas, this demigod is represented as a
Warden of the Buddhist shrine.
12. PI. Indian Museum. [Scene 64b] :-The lower half of the figure
of a demigod still lingers on the outer side of one of the right terminus pillars.
The upper half has completely disappeared. The lower half which
Some unknown h h h fi d k d I
remains s ows t at t e gure was stan ing on a roe y groun . n
Yaksha or Naga.
the absence of the head-dress it is impossible to say whether this
figure represented the statue of a Yaksha or that of a Dragon chief. But when the
figure was complete, it must have stood with joined hands, in an attitude of respect,
and the part assigned to the demigod must have been that of a custodian of the
Buddhist shrine.
13. PI. Indian Museum. 26 (21 ). [Scene 64c] :-The small fragment
of a Railing-pillar bears yet the middle portion of a statue that was figured on a face
or side. The statue, as it originally stood, was evidently a standing
Broken statue of a J fi Th h h d h I
Yaksha or ma e gure. e rig t an as disappeared without eaving
Naga. any trace. The palm of the left hand is broken off. The attitude of
the remaining part of the left hand shows that the figure stood with
joined hands. The head and the upper part of the neck are cut away. The lower
extremities below the thighs are lost for ever. The position of the pillar is unknown.
There is no inscription recording the name of the demigod.
14. PI. Indian Museum. Intermediate Pillar. Side. [Scene 64d] :-
Only the pedestal of this pillar survives presenting two even feet resting on the back
of three lions standing side by side. In the absence of anklets
Some unknown characterising the figures of female deities we cannot identify the figure
Yaksha, Yakshtr;tt,
Naga or Devata. with a YakshiQI or Devata, and in the absence of the cobra-hood we
cannot say whether the figure represented a Yaksha or a Dragon-chief.
If the feet represent the lower extremities of a female figure of which the bust
without the right hand survives, the whole figure can be treated as a statue of some
demigoddess.
15. PI. XIV. S. Gate. Prasenajit Pillar. Inner Face. Middle
Has-Relief [Scene 67]. :-
Erapato Nagaraja.
1
Erapato Nagaraja Bhagavato vamdate.
2
I, 2 Barua. Sinha, Nos. 179-180.
JA T AKA-SCENES 65
"Erapata ( Erapatha, Erakapatta, Elapatra or Ailapatra )-the
Dragon-chief."
"The Dragon-king Erapata bows down to the Divine Master."
This has-relief, as Cunningham observes, is a square panel, on the left of which
is kneeling a Dragon-chief in complete human form, with a five-hooded snake canopy
over his head. Behind him to the right are the half figures of a male dragon and two
female dragons, also in human form, and with snake-hoods over their heads, but with
The Dragon-king their lower extremities concealed. In the midst of the piece is a five-
Erapata pays hooded snake rising apparently from the who can be taken
reverence to the b D k
Buddha as a means to e the ragon- ing in his first appearance from below in his true
of escape from his snake-form the trees and rocks. Above, there are two small
snaky existence. trees, and two half Naginls. One .of the short labels refers to the
scene as one of worship of the Blessed Saviour by the Dragon-king Erapata
1

This description is defective in spite of its suggestiveness. The square panel obvio-
usly presents a romantic scene on land and in water. In the left we see a flat strip
of land, and in the right an expanse of water, divided as though into two lakes or
pools by a narrow strip, from the main land and like an island,
washed by the currents of water. On the outer end of the narrow
strip one can see a water-plant up and two crane-like birds flying over or
about, as is natural when they catch fishes or eat sea-weeds. It may be
that one bird is shown twice to indicate its movement. This plainly shows that this
portion of the strip is muddy, and overflooded when it is tide, or there is a heavy
or some such cause. The pools or streams of water are thickly covered all over
with lotus-shrubs, with leaves, shoots and flowers in different stages of growth. To
all appearance, these represent a large river flowing between two banks, visible on
the upper and lower sides of the paneL The currents are well represented by the
curled and wavy lines of water. On the lower corner of the main strip in the left,
the Dragon-king Erapata kneels on the ground and bows down, touching with his
forehead the left hand side of a cubical jewel-seat of Buddha Sakyamuni from a
corner, the upper edge with his left hand and placing his palm against
the side itself. He appears indeed in the form of a royal personage, with a five-
hooded crest over his turban. The square altar is covered over with lotus leaves and
fiowers, while the frieze on its front side shows a continuous leaf-design. This is
erected at the foot of a delightfully tali and well-grown Sirlsha tree, two pieces of
StJpa of Bharhut, pp. 26-27.
17
66 BAR HUT
garland hanging from its lower branches. Its foliage is adorned throughout with
flowers. A lower portion of its trunk, just above the square seat, is encircled by a
belt with flower-designs. lt is possible that this portion is thus fashioned with chisel.
The tree reigns indeed on the spot as the lord of its kind, the biggest of the
six Sirlshatrees, two growing on the outer end of the middle strip and three on the
middle of the lower bank. The longer label is incised just behind the Dragon-chief,
describing his action and attitude. Just above it, in the midst of the upper pool,
we notice a beautifully adorned maiden in human form, standing characteristically
as though turning round and round, while she is dancing and singing, upon the five-
headed hood of the Dragon-king, raised aloft from water. She holds a lotus-bud
in her upraised left hand, while her right hand is pointed towards a man before her
with whom she is conversing with her charming face. The man stands, his body
above water and wrapped by an upper garment, donned on his left shoulder, holding
a lotus-bud in his right hand stretched towards her, evidently making advances of
love. His face is broken off. But it is certain that he has no head-dress, nay, his
head is shaven. In the midst of the lower pool we see the same Dragon-king, now
in a royal human form, walking on towards the jewel-seat, carrying a lotus in his
folded hands, and followed by two female dragons, also in human form, with single
serpent-crests over their heads, one behind him appearing to be his wife, and one
behind her his daughter. The two females are distinguished by the different head-
dresses, here the head-dress of the daughter behind the queen being the same as that
of the maiden on the hood of the Dragon-king. The shorter label giving the
Dragon-king's name is incised just below his figure lest the observer may mistake his
identity, now that he has assumed the human form. The labels give his name as
Erapata or Erapata, while in literature it is found to be Erakapatta, Erapatha,
Elapatra and Ailapatra. These suggest different etymological explanations. See
how Erakapatta, equating well with all the forms but Erapatha, is explained in the
Dhammapada-Commantary : He came to be known as Erakapatta because he felt
as though an Eraka-leaf had seized him by the neck. Erapatha, corresponding to
Meryqapatha in the Mahaniddesa, signifies a country abounding in e!akas or rams,
through which the north-western branches of the Indian caravan route (uttarapatha)
passed. This must have been situated within T since it is expressly stated
in the Mahavastu that his abode was a tank or lake in T None need be
surprised if this place was llaprasta or Ailaprastha, an ancient Iranian settlement. The
Mahavastu mentions Elapatra as one of the four richest persons in India. Why
should he, despite his riches, be anxious to pay homage to the Buddha ? The reply
JA T AKA-SCENES 67
is given in the Erakapatta-nagaraja-vatthu of the Dhammapada-Commentary, of
which a counterpart may be found in the Mahavastu. As hinted at by Cunningham,
our bas-relief faithfully illustrates a story similar in many points to that in the
Dhammapada-Commentary, which will be manifest from the following narration.
In the dispensation of Buddha Kasyapa, Erakapatta was a young monk, who,
while going in a boat along the Ganges, passed a jungle of Eraka-trees. He grasped
an Eraka-leaf. Though the boat was moving rapidly, he did not let it go. The
result was that the leaf was completely torn off. He thought it to be a mere trifle.
But when he was about to die, he felt as though an Eraka-leaf hang about his neck
like an alabaster of sin. His mistake was that he did not confess his fault. He
died to be reborn to his shame as a Dragon-king, the measure of whose body was
that of a dug-out canoe. "What a pity that after performing meditations for so
long a time, I find myself in a feeding-place for frogs !"
He had a daughter. Lying on the surface of the water in the middle of the
Ganges, he raised his great hood, placed his daughter therein, and caused her to dance
and sing, which he practised as a device of attracting persons from whom he might
gather information about the Buddha's advent. He had it proclaimed that if any
one could sing a reply to his song, he would give him his daughter, and the power
and wealth of a dragon king as a gift. Every fortnight, on Fastday, he placed his
daughter in his hood, and she, poised there, danced, and sang this song :
"What manner of ruler is a king ?
What manner of king is under the dominion of passion ?
How may he free himself from the bondage of passion ?
Why is he called a simpleton ?"
Many suitors came with replies which were all rejected. At last came a
wooer, the Brahmin youth Uttara, coached by the merciful Buddha, who felt pity
for the Dragon-king. As the daughter of the Dragonking sang her song, Uttara
sang a counter-song in reply. "What a grand song and reply this must be, which
none but a Buddha can suggest !" His heart was filled with joy at the very thought.
With his tail he lashed the surface of the water, whereupon great waves arose,
washing away both banks. "Master, where is the Teacher ?" he asked Uttara,
approaching him. "He is sitting under one of the seven Sirlsha-trees near Benares."
"Come, master, let us go." He, on their arrival at the place, bowed down to the
Teacher and stood on one side weeping. "Great king, human estate is indeed
1 l\1ahavastu, Ill. p. 384.
68 BARHUT
difficult to attain ; it is likewise diffkult to gain the privilege of listening to the Law ;
so also is the rise of a Buddha is difficult. For this latter is brought about with
toil and trouble." As he listened to these words, he gained the fruit of conversion,
and recovered the power of going about in human form.
The Barhut scene illustrates this story in three stages of its progress : (I) the
Dragon-king looking out for information a bout the Buddha's appearance, (2) going
to the place where the Buddha was, and (3) interviewing the Teacher. The surviving
fragment of the panel presents six instead of seven Sir!sha-ttees. It is not in the
Commentary-story that the Dragon queen and princess accompanied the king. In
this point the scene has rather an agreement with the Mahavastu-story.
16. PI. XXI. 3 [Scene 70] :-Chakavako Nagaraja.
1
"Chakravaka, the Dragon-chief."
This label is attached to the under life-size figure of a human demi-god, who is
seen standing, with joined hands and comely mien, on a high rock showing the faces
The Dragon-chief of two tigers, peeping out from their dens, beside a lotus-lake, where
Chakravaka adores a swan is swimming, a few cranes stand in a significant attitude, and
the Buddha for the
r e l e s ~ from his a crocodile stands in water with a gaping mouth, apparently with the
piteous condition intention of attacking some of the birds. His gracefully bound turban
is canopied by a five-headed cobra-hood, which is characteristic of the figure of a
Nagaraja. His joined hands, held across his breast, are evidently directed towards
the invisible presence of the Buddha. There must have been some Buddhist legend
giving an account of Chakravaka' s interview with the compassionate Master, paying
respects to whom the Dragon-chief, like Ailapatra, regained the human form and
speech.
17. PI. XXXII. 1 [Scene 71] :-Here Cunningham notices the figure of a
soldier nearly of life size, whose head is bare, and whose short curly hair is
bound with a broad band or ribbon, which is fastened at the back
A soldier-lib
figure. A sun-god of the head in a bow, with its long ends streaming in the wind. His
or a demon ? dress consists of a tunic with long sleeves, and reaching nearly to
the mid-thigh. It is tied in two places by cords ; at the throat by a cord with two
tassels, and across the stomach by a double-looped bow. The loins and thighs are
covered with a dhoti which reaches below the knees, with the ends hanging down
to the ground in front in a series of extremely stiff and formal folds. On the feet
are boots, which reach high up the legs, and are either fastened or finished by a
I Barua Sinha, No, 181.
JAT SCENES 69
cord with two tassels, like those on the neck of the tunic. In his left hand he carries
a flower, and in his right a monstrously broad straight sword, sheathed in a scabbard,
which is suspended from the left shoulder by a long flat belt. The extreme breadth
of the sword exceeds the thickness of the man's arm, while its length may be about
2-i feet. The belt of the sword is straight, and without a guard. The face of the
scabbard is ornamented with the favourite Buddhist Symbol of T riratna or
the Triple Gem. The sword belt, after being passed throu'6h a ring attached to the
side of the scabbard, appears to be crossed over the scabbard downwards, and
then fastened to a ring at the tip, below which the broad ends hang down like the
ends of a scarf.! We cannot but accept this graphic description in extenso. From
the study of the costume Cunningham is led to take the f1<5ure to be a representation
of a soldier in the service of the Mauryan kinils. Rai Bahadur R. P. Chanda is
inclined to identify it with the Demon Viprachitti. The wearing of boots ataliyo
(upahana, and 139 moving about being armed with a dagger
(khagga) are mentioned indeed in the Sarhyutta-Nikaya (1, p. 226) as personal charac-
teristics of the Demon Viprachitti. But these by themselves are not sufficient to justify
the identification, There is no special label recording the name of the figure. The
Votive Label shows that the figure is carved on a pillar which was a gift from a
Buddhist monk Mahila.
2
If Mahila can be rightly equated with Mihila or Mihira,
it is not impossible that here we have a second instance where the fi<5ure itself has
the most intimate connexion with the name or epithet of the donor of the
pillar gift. We mean that the figure itself is a representation of Mihira, the
Sun-god. In the first instance we have the fi<5ure of a trooper sculptured on a pillar
which was a gift from a donor who himself was a trooper (asavarika)
3
The
scabbard of the sword bears the Triratna symbol which indicates a connexion with
Buddhism not so much of the figure as of the donor of the pillar, the Gentle Mahila.
The figure itself holds in the hand a bunch of grapes which is indicative of the fact
that it had something to do with a grape-growing country, namely, the north-western
region of India, the border land of Persia. The identity of the Barhut figure with
the Persian Sun-god will be evident from the following observations of late
Professor R. G. Bhandarkar : "The form of the idol of the sun worshipped in sun
temples is described by Varahamihira (Brihatsarhhita, Chap. 58), but the features
mentioned by him which have a significance for our present purpose are that his
feet and legs should be enclosed or covered up to the knees and he should be dressed
in the fashion prevalent in the North (v. 46), and that he should be encircled by an
I Stupa of Bharhut, pp. 32-33. 2 Barua Smha. No. 26. 3 BJ.rua Sinha Nos. 15.
18
70
BAR HUT
avyanga (v. 47). Accordingly the images of the sun that are found in the sun
temples have boots reaching up to knees and a girdle round the waist with one and
hanging downwards."
1
The sun-god is represented at Barhut as a sword-bearer
guarding the sanctity of the Buddhist shrine.
18. PI. XXI. 2 [Scene 72] :-Here is an under life-size female figure,
bedecked all over with the apparels and ornaments, made of pearls and gems. The
Alakamanda- net of pearls and jewels hanging over and covering her forehead
Yakshir;i? cannot be passed unnoticed. She stands in a calm attitude, bending
her left hand at right angles, and placing the palm on her body in front, while in her
upraised right hand she gracefully holds a sankha-padma,-a jewel in the form of
a lotus-bud and conch-shell, provided with a stalk-like handle. Her feet, or better,
her toes rest upon the palm of upraised hands of a strong man who is raising her up
and standing up from a kneeling position. Thus she uses a man for her conveyance
(purisavahana) and he displays a muscular gymnastical feat. Her apparel and
conveyance go to show that she is associated with Kuvera' s capital Alakamanda,
and even with Kuvera himself as his queen or daughter. His queen is mentioned in
the Buddhist legends of queen Maya' s dream, while in one of the stories of the
Vimanavatthu we have mention of Kuvera' s four daughters, Lata, Sajja, Raji and
Mati, all described as goddesses, with long locks of hair, golden complexion of skin,
blue and red mango-like eyes, wearing the lotus-wreaths, and bathing in the cool
water of a river covered with lotus.
2
19. PI. XXII 3 [Scene 73] :-Chathda Yakhi.
3
"Chandra YakshiQL"
The figure of Chandra YakshiQI is sculptured on the outer side of a left terminus
pillar where we see her stand calmly under a tall flower-tree, holding one of the
lower branches with her right hand and embracing the trunk with her
Chandra Y c.kshirJi.
left. Her left leg, which is entwined round the trunk, rests on the
head of a horse-faced makara, while her right foot rests on the curled tail. She
holds between the first two fingers of her left hand a hanging bunch of flowers,
which is evidently plucked from the tree. One small bunch is also worn as an
ornament over the hanging lock of hair on her right side. Among the rich apparel
and ornaments that she wears, the most notable is a scarf-like ornament, which
passes round her right side and over her left shoulder.
I Vai?rJaVlsm, Saivism and Minor Religious Systems, pp, 154-155. By udichyave5a is meant the fashion
prevalent in the uttarapatha (Commentary).
2 Vimanavatthu, No. 2. 3 Barua Sinha, No. 182.
JATAKASCENES
20. PI. XXIII. 2 [Scene 74] :-Yakhini Sudasana.
1
Sudarsana".
71
This label is attached to the sculptured figure of called Sudarsana
or Beautiful, who is seen standing artfully on the head of an elephant-faced or
rhinoceros-faced winged makara, the forepart of her right foot
Sudadana Y akshmi
touching the head of the creature. She maintains her balance by
resting her left foot across her right leg, bending up her right hand and placing her
left hand upon her girdle of six strings. The four flngers of her right hand are bent
towards her palm, while the thumb remains stretched out. She is evidently being
carried aloft through the air.
21. PI. XXXIII. 3 [Scene 73] :-Chulakoka
"The little hunter-goddess"
Here we have a representation of the goddess Kshudrakoka as an under life-
size flgure of short stature, mounted on a quickly moving elephant, in a standing
attitude, with her right leg resting on the back and her ldt leg on
Kshudrakoka, the
the head of the animal. She wears on over her Qracefully combed
goddess of the
hunters takmg stand hair a flnely woven ornamental head-covering, hanging on her back.
on the back of She wears a heavenly appareL heavy pendent earrings, several pieces
elephants.
of bracelets, a necklace having six rows of beads, a girdle with six
strings, high entwined anklets, and a bangle-shaped additional foot-ornament in each
leg. The elephant's motion is arrested on coming against a fairly tall tree which
she embraces with her left hand, grasping its lower branch above her head with her
right hand to pluck or plunder its fruits, and entwining its trunk with her left leg.
The elephant uses its proboscis to embrace the tree. The tree has small compound
leaves, and a clean, round, and tall trunk, while its bunches of flowers or small fruits
adorning all of its small branches seem to connect it with the Asoka tree. A
goddess of her name is nowhere met with in Indian literature. The signiflcance of
her name is also not quite clear. The inscription has been found out at Dinajpur
naming the image of a Hindu temple as Kokamukhasvami. Some of the epigra-
phists conjecture that here is a deflnite reference to a deity, who is the husband of
a goddess Kokamukhi or the Barhut Koka. But there is a great difference in meaning
between a Koka and a Kokamukha. Kokamukhasvami is just another name
of the Boar Incarnation of the word Kokamukha signifying a dog-faced
beast, i.e., a boar. In the Dhammapada-Commentary, Koka is distinctly used
I Borua Sinha, No. 183. 2 Barua S nha, No. 184.
72 BAR HUT
as the name of a hunter, who used to hunt by setting dogs upon the victim (see
Koka-Sunakha- Vatthu). If it could have been construed as an adjective qualifying
the dogs, Koka would perhaps mean Konka-'crying', 'bemoaning', and the goddess
might be associated with the habit of screaming at night. But seeing that Koka
occurs as the name of the hunter, one might be led to surmise that it was a tribal
name, that the Kokas were an aboriginal tribe of hunters, whose tutelary deities
were known after it as Koka's. On the other hand, in the Vessantara-Jataka, the
term koka signify sunakha or dogs, employed by a hunter to surround a game. This
goes to show that Kshudrakoka was the tutelary goddess of the special class of
hunters ranging the wood on the back of elephants.
22. PI. Indian Museum. 6 (29) a [Scene 76] :-This is apparently a life-
size figure of another class of the Koka goddesses, with middle stature, mounted upon
a high-mettled and nicely caparisoned horse. She stands on the
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ K
goddess of the back of the horse, embracing a tall tree to her left, exactly as shudra-
hunters takmg stand koka stands on the back of the elephant. Among the notable points
on the back of of difference, we see that her necklace contains seven strings instead
horses.
of six, seven hip-belts instead of six, and ornamental tinkling bells in
the place of bangle-shaped foot-ornament. Although the foliage of the tree is
broken off and there is no inscription recording her name, we may be fully justified
in classing her as Majhimakoka, the midling hunter-goddess and describing her as a
tutelary deity of the middle class of hunters ranging the wood on horse-back.
23. PI. XX. Gateway Pillar. Piece found At Pataora.
Side [Scene 19] : - Mahakoka Devata.
"The great hunter-goddess"
This inscription serves as a label for the under life-size figure of a third class
of Koka goddesses, standing on earth under a tree to her right. She looks much
Mahakoka, the
goddess of the
fatter and appears to be heavy-built. But this is due to the treatment
of the relief. She wears two pieces of necklace instead of one,
hunters t k i n ~ stand and wears no additional foot-ornament below the entwined anklets.
on earrh.
The tree is the same as one under which Kshudrakoka stands. She
holds with her right hand the lower branch, while her left hand rests on her left thigh,
with the forefinger manfully pointed towards some object. She appears to be the
tutelary goddess of the general class of hunters taking stand on earth under a tree.
I Barua Sinha, No. 185.
JAT AKA-SCENES
73
24. PI. XXXVI. 7 [Scene 77] :- Here we see a evidently
Devata, on the back of an elephant-faced makara on the surface of a
river where a lotus-shrub lifts up its head above water. She is
Gatiga the goddess.
the makara to move fast with a held by her in her right hand.
The makara swims by upraising its trunk. In the Machchhuddana-Jataka (F. 288),
the is represented as the deity of the river and custodian of the
fishes.
25. (a) PI. XXIII. 2 [Scene 74] :-Sirima devata.
1
"Srlmatl, the
This label is attached to the figure of a female deity characterised by a
protuberant hip and a prominent bust which are probably indicative of the power
of production and feedina. The aoddess remains standina with even
Goddess of lucky o o o
feet on a level roof of a railing-like structure with her left hand grace.
suspended at full length along her left side, while with her right hand
she holds out a flower that appears to be a datura. She wears apparel and orna-
ments which characterise other female deities. In the Lalita- Vistara
2
and the
Mahavastu
3
versions of the Atanatiya-Sutta, the four varieties of the goddess of
luck are associated with Viruqhaka, the regent of the southern quarter, and they
bear the appellations of Sirimatl or Sriyamati, Yasabprapta or Lakshimatl,
and Yasodhara. The name of the goddess as recorded in the Barhut label seems
to correspond to Srlmatl. This Barhut representation of Sirima has, as shown by
Professor Rhys Davids, a faithful correspondence in the images of her found in the
temples of South lndia.
4
The Siri- KalakaQQi-Jataka (F. 383) introduces us to a
Siridevi or Lakkhi, who is described as the daughter of Dhatarattha, the regent of
the eastern quarter. In this Jataka, precisely as in the Indian stories of Nala and
and Srlvatsa, Sri or Luck is compared and contrasted with KalakarQI or Misfortune,
the latter being described as the daughter of Virupakkha, the regent of the western
quarter. Siri the goddess is said to have come with raiment and ointment of golden
hue and ornament of golden brightness to the door of the presence-chamber of a
wise banker, diffusing yellow light, resting with even feet on level ground (samehi
padehi samath pathaviyath) standing respectful, and introducing herself as Fortune and
Luck (Siri ea Lakkhi ea), the daughter of Dhatarattha the fortunate (sirima), whom
men admired as Wisdom. But the reader is to decide whether this Jataka descrip-
I Barua Sinha, No. 186.
3 Mahavastu. Ill. p. 307.
19
2 Lalita-VJstara, Chap. XXIV.
4 Buddhist lnd1a, pp. 217-221.
74 BARHUT
tion of the goddess is applicable to this figure af Sirima or to another figure which
is described below.
(b) PI. Cunningham's Original Photograph [Scene 7] :-The outer side
of a right terminus pillar, recently brought into the Indian Museum, Calcutta, bears
Another goddess
of lucky grace.
the sculptured figure of a female deity which bears a general likeness
to the figure of Sirima. Comparing the two figures we cannot but
admit that instead of one we have at Barhut two different representa-
tions of the goddess of luck. In the present instance the goddess stands in the same
attitude of feet on level ground, holding a hanging lotus-bundle in her left hand
suspended at full length along her left side, and placing her right hand just below her
chest. The palm being broken off we cannot say if anything was held in the right
hand. There is nothing very special to note in her apparel and ornaments except
that she wears two single anklets one on each foot.
26. (a) PI. XXXVI. 1 [Scene 79] :-This is a decorative design which offers
an example of sculptural representation, where Sri the goddess of glory is seated
~ r the goddess of cross-legged, the soles of her feet touching each other. She sits with
joined hands, held just below her breast, and indicating a respectful
attitude. She sits on a full-blown lotus blossoming out of a large
ornamented jar, the neck of which bears a lotus-design. The jar itself rests upon
a lotus-stand. The lotus-shrub shows two other flowers blossoming on two sides
of the lotus in the middle, and standing artfully upon these outer flowers two
elephants pour water over the head of the goddess from two sides from two jars,
held over her head by the elephants with the help of their trunks. In this example
the jars do not touch each other, and these are held up a little above the head of
the goddess. Of the apparel and ornaments worn by her, no traces now remain
except those of anklets.
glory.
(b) Indian Museum [Scene 80] :-Here we have a second example of
representation of the same goddess, which shows a more ornamental finish. In this
example the goddess, instead of sitting cross-legged, remains standing, holding up
with her left hand one end of the girdle which hangs on her left side, and placing
her right hand upon her breast. The apparel and ornaments that she wears are
precisely those which characterise the figures of other female deities. In this
representation the elephants stand closer to the goddess, and the jars touch each other
and are held up just over the head of the goddess. In none of these two instances
the goddess holds a lotus in her hand as she should according to the Brahmanical
description-padmastha padmahasta cha ghatotkshiptajalapluta. But she is seated on
75
a lotus, and water is poured over her head from the jars. Sri or Glory and three
other cognate deities, A$a (Hope), Sraddha (Faith) and Hrl or Hirl in the Lalita-
Vistara and Mahavastu versions are mentioned in the Atanatiya-Sutta as heavenly
damsels guarding the northern quarter, and as it should be, the figures of the goddess
Sri, exactly in the form met with at Barhut are sold now-a-days in the bazars of
northern India. The four deities, Sri and the rest, are mentioned in the Sudhabhojana-
Jataka (F. 535) as the four daughters of Sakra or lndra. As shown elsewhere
1
, these
were results of poetic personification of four abstract ideas or principles, and the
process can be traced from the Vedic hymns.
27. PI. Indian Museum. 45 (10) a [Scene 811 :-Here we see a hand-
some female figure standing gracefully on a large full-blown lotus growing in a lotus-
lake. She shows a tattoo-mark on her forehead just below her orna-
Padumachchhara : f h d JJ kJ h
menta ead-covering, an usua y wears earrings, a nee ace wit a
Lotus-nymph.
medal suspended from it, a flat chain falling over her breast, and
bracelets and anklets adorning her hands and legs. She stands in a waiting attitude,
with a large harp, held up in front, across her body, between the palm of her left hand
and the back of her right, and balanced by tilting up its upper part under her left
arm, almost forgetting herself before a grand sight that has engaged her attention.
There is no label to help us to recognise her identity. But there can be no doubt that
she represents a heavenly maiden, described in Buddhist literature as a Lotus-nymph,
playing on a harp. Some of the stories in the Vimanavatthu give a poetical descrip-
tion of this class of maidens, well-trained in the art of dancing, singing and playing
on musical instruments. The scenic effect of the representation of this class of
maiden!; will be evident from the following quotation from the Sutta-Nipata-
Commentarl : "When Sakra, king of heaven, goes to his pleasaunce for amusement,
the god AiravaQa transforms himself into a mighty elephant-king, assuming a body,
150 leagues in extent, and having 33 trunks, each trunk showing two tusks, each tusk
bearing up seven tanks, each tank containing seven lotus-shrubs, each shrub presenting
seven flowers, each flower comprising seven petals, each petal showin'5 seven nymphs,
dancing in it. These maidens, who are Sakra' s dancing women, are well-known
as Lotus-nymphs." The Vimanavatthu description goes to show that their function
was not confined to dancin'5 but included singing as well as playing on the harp and
other musical instruments. Here we may trace an early iconic form of the Hindu
deity Sarasvati.
1 Barua Sinha, No. 186, Notes. 2 Paramatthajo!lka, 11. pp. 368-369.
76 BAR HUT
28. PI. Indian Museum [Scene Sla] :-The statue of a female deity
figures on the inner tace of a right terminus pillar. She is seen standing on the
back of a makara with the head and face of a leonine animal, holding
Some unknown out in her uplifted left hand something which is broken off. There
or goddess.
is no label recording her name. Her apparel and ornaments are
certainly those characterising the figures of other female deities. The figure is
evidently that of a Yakshir;tl or a goddess.
29. [Missing] :-Bahuhathika-asana Bhagavato Mahadevasa.
1
-
"The Bahuhastika seat of the Divine and Mighty Lord."
The scene to which this inscription referred is missing. Cunningham says that
he found the inscription engraved on a pillar above a medallion filled with a lotus-
Buddha's sear fre- design, and as such lt does not appear to have referred to any
quented and guarded carving on the pillar itself. He seems to think that the point of
bv a herd of wild reference was a representation within a distinct stone-enclosure to
elephants.
which the pillar itself belonged, and that the representation itself was
that of a throne with a number of human hands carved on the front, the hands being
intended as symbols of worshippers
1

It is rather unusual that the inscription referring to a throne should
be incised on a pillar in the enclosure, and not on the throne itself. We think
that the pillar itself was sculptured with a scene in which the Buddha's seat
or throne was frequented and guarded by a herd of wild elephants, and if it be that
the scene had no place in a full medallion, it must have filled the half-medallion at the
top. There are two other inscriptions engraved in a scene in which the expression
bahuhathika occurs and distinctly signifies something characterised by the presence of
many elephants. The following representation of Triangular Resort affords a good
example of this scene.
29. PI. XXVIII. 1 [Scene 83] :-Tikotiko chakmo.
2
"The Triangular resort."
Here in the upper left quarter of the medallion Cunningham sees a highly
ornamented triangular recess, in which is seated a three-headed serpent apparently on
The scene of a a lotus throne. In the lower left quarter he sees two lions. The
Chankrama or of a whole of the right half is filled with elephants in various attitudes
Ja.raka. of eating and drinking. There are altogether seven elephants. The
one at the bottom is shown in the act of plucking sheaf of corn ; the next above
I Srupa of Bhar hut, pp. 14, 143. 2 Burma Sinha. No.
JA 77
him is throwing his trunk backwards over his head ; the third is filling his trunk
with water from a stone bowl ; below him the head only of the fourth elephant
appears ; the fifth is pouring the water from his trunk down his throat ; the sixth
has thrown his trunk back over his head like the second ; and the seventh, a large
tusker, stands full to the front, his ears extended. The attitudes of some of these
figures are well conceived and fairly executed, and the scene is both natural and
animated. As the word naga means an elephant as well as a snake, the scene
may be taken to be a representation of the Nagaloka which, according to Buddhist
cosmogony, was placed in the waters under the Trikuta-parvata or three-peaked
mountain that supported Mt. Meru, the triangle of scene being the triangular base
of the T riknta mountain.
1
The scene is well described by Cunningham as it may appear at first sight. The
presence of two trees indicates that the scene is laid in a forest or mountainous
region. The triangular resort, referred to in the inscription, is a triangular lake or
pool which is guarded by its three-headed dragon dweller The
three banks represent three uniform sides of the triangle bearing various auspicious
marks of leaves and flowers on their ornamented surface. The dragon-chief is
evidently lying on his back at the bottom of the lake jealously keeping watch over
the surface of water from below. The two lions below the lake stand facing each
other, one looking towards the front, the other looking towards the back, and the
both of them showing an attitude of alertness in making attacks, with their gaze
fixed in the same outward direction. As regards the herd of wild elephants, the
various attitudes of eating and drinking are not so important as those of keeping
watch and guard. The one at the bottom who stands close to one of the lions,
keeping the front legs erect and the gaze fixed in the outward direction, is posted
as a sentinel. Two powerful elephants besides the sentinel stand vigorously on
the right, facing the same direction as is faced by the sentinel and the lions.
They are apparently stationed as generals, while the leader of the herd stands
majestically beside them, in the upper part of the medallion, watching the whole
situation before his eyes. This leader, the two generals and sentinel encircle the
younger elephants, among whom the bigger ones stand face to face, and the
smallest one drinks water from a stone bowl. 'What is the subject of this scene ?
One might be tempted to think that the subject is a Birth-story in which the Bodhisat,
then born as a powerful elephant, lived as the lord of a herd in a forest reigion
infested with lions, near a triangular lake which was the dwelling place of a
[ Stupa os Barhut, pp. 23, 25-29, 41-42.
20
78
BAR HUT
fearful dragon-chief, vigilantly guarding his followers against all dangers. But
this interpretation cannot stand in view of the fact that the elephants and the lions
are apprehending the danger from one and the same direction. There is no sign of
an attempt on the part of the lions to attack the elephants. The representation is
rather of a scene in which they have a common cause to serve. The inscription
characterises the representation as the scene of a triangular resort. The resort itself
is a triangular lake which is the meeting place of a dragon-chief, a pack of lions
and a herd of wild elephants. If the resort were a simple lake, we cannot understand
why its banks should be highly ornamented. The resort must be associated in some
way with the Buddha or Buddhas. It may be a triangular lake in a forest region,
on the bank of which the Buddha or Buddhas washed the robes, and which was
guarded by the dragon-chief, the lions and the elephants. Hwen Thsang' s descrip-
tion ot a lake in Benares may throw some light on the meaning of the scene. In
one of the lakes, says Hwen Thsang, the Buddha used to wash his robes, and a
dragon dwelt in it. "The water is deep and its taste sweet ; it is pure and resplen-
dent in appearance, and neither increases nor decreases. When men of a bad
character bathe here, the crocodiles come forth anq kill many of them ; but in case
of the reverential who wash here, they need fear nothing. By the side of
the pool where T athagata washed his garments in a great square stone, on which
are yet to be seen the trace-marks of his kashaya robe. The bright lines of the
tissue are of a minute and distinct character, as if carved on the stone. The faithful
and pure come to make their offerings here; but when the heretics and men of evil
mind speak lightly of or insult the stone, the dragon-king inhabiting the pool causes
the winds to rise and rain to fall."
1
In taking the scene to be a representation of
the Nagaloka under the three-peaked mountain Cunningham himself admits that he
cannot explain the presence of the lions
2

30. PI. XXXIV. 2 [Scene 85] :-Tiram[h]i timigila-kuchimha
Vasugupo mochito mahadevanarh.
3
Vasugupta is brought ashore, being rescued from Tinitigila's belly by the
power of the name of the mighty lord."
I Beal's Buddhist Records of the Western World, 11, p. 49.
2 Mr. Gokuldas De of the Calcutta University has shown (Calcutta Review, 1929, pp. 367-72) that the
description of the Trikuta mountain in the Bhagavata Purar;ta is cf such a nature that one may explain many of the
details of the Barhut scene.
3 Barua Sinha, No. 165.
JAT AKA SCENES 79
This is a flne medallion-carving which still lies buried under the walls of the
palace at Uchahara. The bas-relief presents a very curious scene, where Cunningham
Overpowered by observes two boats on a rough sea, each containing three men. A
the Lord's glvrious huge fish with open mouth is swallowing one of the boats with its
name, the sea-
monster leviathan crew, while the crew of the second boat, who have stopped rowing,
lets out from his are evidently anticipating the same fate. The boats afford two
jaw/ examples. They are of exactly the same build as the boat in the
who finds himself
secure on sea-shore Sanchi sculptures. The planks are fastened together by iron clamps.
with his followers. The oars are shaped somewhat like large spoons, each having a long
bamboo handle, with a flat piece of wood at the end to hold the water. In India
the very same pattern of boat and the same oars are still in use at the present day,
which is a proof of the unchanging habits of the Hindus.
1
Judged apart from any reference to the explanatory inscription and literary
tradition, Cunningham' s reading would have been accurate and correct. The
sea is rough, boats there are two, the huge flsh with open mouth is
swallowing one of the boats with its crew, and the crew of the other boat
having stopped pulling the oars, are anticipating the same tragic fate, True.
But the accompanying label compels us to look for the rich merchant Vasugupta
and make out the sea-shore where he was at last brought. The monster
flsh swallowing the boat with its crew is, according to the label, Timingila, a larger
species of the Leviathan, the swallower of Timi. We read in literature that there
is a still larger species, Timiitgila-gila, the swallower of the swallower. Vasugupta
of the label is the man who sits in front, heroically facing the danger, among the
crew of the longer boat within Timiitgila' s jaws. He is at once diatinguished from
the rest by his dignified appearance, prominent earrings and ring-shaped diadem
over his forehead. we can easily point out the sea-shore, represented in the upper
part, beside the second boat. Going by the description in the label, the boat and
crew within Timiitgila' s grasp may be taken as both going in and comin5 out. The
label gives also the reason for Vasugupta' s bold calmness before the impending danger
and release, which is the deep concentration of his mind and sweet recollection of
I StOpa of Bharhut, p. 124.
I. Khtla-Harivarpsa, V1shQuparva, Ch. XXXIII. 15-16:
Sa111Udral;t cratyuvachedarp daityal;t panch .. jano mahun,
TimirupeQa tarp balarp grastavan iti Mahava ?
Unmathya sahlad asmad stastavan iti Bharata-
2. Hardy's Manual of Buddhism, d, 209 :
The dewas ...... requested Buddha ...... to agitate the sea of the Abhidharmma as the fish-king T1mingala agitates
the ocean."
80
BARHUT
the name of the mighty saviour, his Lord. Is it sufficient to say that the sea is
rough ? Is the sea really rough, or is it merely a case of commotion in sea-water
caused, according to an old Indian saying, by a Timi or Timiiigila ? We see a big
whirlpool, with a deep depression in sea-water, proceeding from the Timingila' s
mouth, causing all sorts of fishes to fall into. The jaws of the monster are adorned
with a curved row of sharp teeth, like those of a saw. In the Mahasutasoma-
Jataka (F. 5;:57), Timingala or Timingila is counted among the six monster-fishes
(chha mahamachchha) in the ocean, one thousand leagues in extent. These fishes, as
the Jataka would fondly have us believe, fed on rock saivala, i.e., kept to a vegeta-
rian diet, before they came by accident to taste with relish the fishes under their
care. We read in the Divyavadana
1
that living creatures live in three layers of
water in the ocean. Those who live in the first layer vary from one to three hundred
leagues in extent, those that live in the second layer from eight to fourteen, and those
that live in the third from fifteen to twenty-one. The fishes eat one another, those
of the first layer serving as food to those of the second, and those of the second
to those of the third. The Timingila, who lives in the third layer, rising up, moves
about as if carrying before him the whole volume of water in the first layer. When
he opens his mouth after forcing out air, the water of the ocean is thrown out in
streams and rushes back, compelling all fishes, turtles, crocodiles, alligators, sharks,
and the rest to fall within his grasp. From a distance he appears like a high mountain,
while his eyes shine forth as though they were two great suns. These phenomena
can be clearly discerned in our bas-rellef, where we also see that all but Vasugupta
look, in fear of life, to this or that direction for help. The cause of this cannot be
unveiled till we make out the story itself. We are indeed much indebted to
Mr. N. G. Majumdar, for drawing our attention to the introductory episode of
the story of Dharmaruchi in the Divyavadana
2
and Avadanakalpalata
3
, which fits in
with the same.
The Blessed One was once staying up in jetavana, when five hundred merchants
of Sravastl were returning home from the high seas. While they were yet in the
ocean, they saw from a distance a curious sight of a being appearing like a high
mountain, with eyes shining like two suns. They fell thinking what it might be, when
the ship began already to move with great speed towards the jaws of the monster.
Was the world-order coming to an end? They all turned to the pilot to tell them
what it was. "Friends" he said, "you must have heard of the danger arising
from Timi-Timingilas. Now we are faced with this very danger. Look how the
I Divyavadana, p. 230. 2 Divyavadana, pp. 228 foil. 3 Avadanakalpalata, No. 89,
JAT AKA-SCENES 81
monster flsh rising up from water, appears like a mountain. The red lines that you
mark are his two lips. That which looks like a string of white beads is the row of
his teeth. Note how his eye-balls shine like the sun. There is no way out of it,
-our death is an inevitable fact. The utmost you can do is to call each upon his
own god to grant you safety." In fear of their lives, they called upon Siva, Varurya,
Kuvera, Mahendra, Upendra, and the rest. But this failed to prevent the vessel
rushing into the monster's grasp. Fortunately, there was amongst them a faithful
Buddhist lay-devotee, who said, "I see that die we must, let us all say in one voice
'Namo Buddhaya', 'Glory be to the Lord', for even if we die with our mind flxed
upon a sweet recollection of qualities of the Buddha, it will help us to attain a happier
lot," They humbly bowed down in obeisance to the Lord, crying out in one voice
'Namo Buddhaya'. This set the Timingila athinking. How to save the vessel and
its crew ? If he violently closes his mouth, they 'f:O into destruction. He gently
closed and opend his jaws to control the commotion, to enable the ship to recede
back and reach the shore, moving by a favourable wind. The merchants safely 'f:Ot
ashore, and on returning home, they did all they could to show proper honour to
the Blessed Lord, by the glory of whose name they were saved.
Instead of the sailing ship, we find in the Barhut relief the boat with oars.
iit. (a). FRO,'v\ DORE-NIDANA-
REMOTE SECTION.
1. PI. XXXIV. 1 [Scene 86] :-This has-relief is carved in a rail-medallion.
It presents, as noticed by Cunnin'tlham/ a lar'tle cart, which is a costly vehicle, fltted
with two wheels, straight wooden sides and a straight wooden back.
Caravan in distress. C - h 1 - h d f I d h d
unnmg am a so notices a square-s ape roo , p ace on t e 'flroun ,
beside the cart. The driver, according to his description, is seated on the '6round
with a cloth passed round his knees and loins, confronting two bullocks that are
sitting in the usual drowsy fashion. He has no sug'tlestion for the identiflcation.
Mr. Rama Prasad Chanda identifies the scene with the Buddhist story of T rapusha
and Bhalluka, the two trader brothers who waited upon the Buddha shortly after
his attainment of Buddhahood. But if it had been really a scene of this story,
why is it that there is to be seen only one man instead of two ? Why again, it
may be asked, is the man sitting despondently on the '6round behind or beneath the
cart, or the situation is so dismal as indicated by the unyoked bullocks drowsily lying
down upon their legs in an opposite direction beside the cart ? lt is too bold a
presumption to maintain that the square-shaped object, taken by Cunningham to be
I Stt:ipa of Bharhut, p. 125.
21
82
BARHUT
the roof of the cart, is a folded robe, which the trader brothers carried as a worthy
present for a Buddha. It rather looks like the surface of something overhead,
divided into four square blocks, one within another. Close to it, there is a small
circular pavement with a circular hole, presenting a swollen face. The story of
Trapusha-Bhalluka cannot explain these details. lt is the story of the Varyryupatha or
)aryryupatha
1
Jataka (F. 2) which alone tallies with the subject of the bas-relieP.
The Bodhisat was then born, according to this Jataka, into a trader's family
m the realm of Kasl. On coming of age, he began to travel about trading with
500 carts. Once he was journeying over a sandy desert, sixty leagues across, with
his carts and retinue, conveyed by a pilot. Thinking that a night's journey was
enough to see them out of the wilderness, he ordered his men to throw away their
wood and water. The pilot sat in the front cart upon a coach, observing the motion
of the stars and directing the course of a caravan. Going some distance he became
tired and fell asleep. The result was that he failed to notice when the oxen had
turned round and retraced their steps, bringing the carts, at dawn, back to the
very place from which they started. "We are where we camped yesterday !"
cried the people of the caravan. ''All our wood and water is gone !" They
unyoked their carts, made a laager and spread awning overhead, each man flinging
himself down in despair beneath his cart. But the Bodhisat soon found out a
grassy spot where water could be obtained. Digging some sixty cubits down,
the spade struck on a rock, yet no water came out. The Bodhisat did not lose
confidence. Feeling sure there must be water under the rock, he ordered his young
assistant to go down into the hole with an iron sledge-hammer and strike the rock that
dammed the stream. He forthwith carried out his master's order. The rock was
struck, split asunder and fell in. Water rushed up through the hole to the joy
of all. Thus the wise being managed to save the situation.
2. PI. XLVIII. 2 [Scene 87] :-Maghadeviya-Jatakath.
3
"The Jataka-scene relating to Mahadeva."
In this small Coping-panel Cunningham notices a Jataka-scene where
a king is seated between two attendants, with his left hand resting on his
I Mahaniddesa, p. !55.
2 Cf. a similar scene at Amaravati, identified by Stela Kramrisch (Indian Sculpture, Fig. 40) evidently accepting.
our identification of the Barhut bas-relicf.
3 Barua Sinha, No. 189.

83
knees and his right hand raised before his face, holdino
Q, bi:ing shown t>
grey hair something small between his forefinger and thumb. The attendant
MahaJeva of on his right is leaning forward, and apparently drawing the king's
ViJeha rosigm his I b h I
attention to a simi ar o ject, w ich he a so holds up between the
kingj;)'TI it fav:lur
of cDw" pnnce forellnser and thumb of his right hand. The pensive appearance
and the of the king might lead one to think that the small thing
worlJ.
on his hand was a pill, and that this attendant was a physician
who held up another pill. Mr. Beglar thought that this flgure was a physician,
whose action seemed to be that of feeling the fln<;"ler of the king. But the two
hands do not actually touch, although they are placed very close together, and may
perhaps be holding the same grey hair. The third person is merely an attendant,
who stands to the left of the king, with his hands joined upon his breast in an
attitude of respect. When once the name of the subject, Maghadeviya-Jataka, is
known, the spirit of the scene is evident, and the story is perhaps as well as
such a subject could be in sculpture.
1
Here we see indeed in the middle a king seated in the throne consisting of
a high-back and wall-side modern offlce chair. He, instead of leaning against
the back side of the throne, rather sits drawing himself towards his front, touching
the ground with his bare feet, so bending his left hand that it rests alongside of
his body and rests as well on his left thigh reaching up to his knee, and so turning
him a little aside that he, keeping up his usual dignity, can raise his right hand
before his face and spread his palm, allowing a man on his right to put in it
something very small with the help of a pincer-like instrument. The king is gravely
and at the same time wistfully looking at the thing as it is bein<5 put in his hand
by the second man who is standin<5 behind his throne and now leans forward
over the back of the throne and proceeds towards its right corner and side so as
to enable himself to reach the kin<5's right hand without coming too near. The
king, as usual, wears earrings, necklaces and bracelets. His unlocked long hair
gracefully hangs down on two sides of his head, being parted in the middle, and
it seems as though he is wearing a wig. There can be little doubt that the second
man is an Indian barber or hair-dresser who appears with a turban on his head
and a large linen waist-band tightly wrapping up his body over his dhoti. We see
before him and on the right side of the king's throne his canoe-shaped shaving-pot
holding in it a broom-shaped shaving-brush and resting on the narrow mouth of a
vault-shaped basket-work of small flat and thin bamboo-splints, interwoven with
I St<:ipa of Bharhut, pp. 78-79.
BARHUT
bands of split rattan cane, a mechanism serving as a stand and as a means of
entrapping and encaging fishes and such other creatures. The razor which is the
barber's main instrument unfortunately is not shown. The second attendant stands,
.as observed by Cunningham, on the king's left, in an attitude of respect. His
appearance and general posture show that he is a younger member of the royal
-family, who has been called into the king's presence and is expectantly waiting to
hear what the king has got to say, but the king is so busy with his barber that
he has no leisure as yet to speak to him. The inscription labels the scene as
Maghadeviya-]ataka. We trace in the Commentary-collection a Birth-story with
the Pali title Makhadeva-Jataka or Maghadeva-Jataka (F. 9).
1
An earlier and
more interesting version of this Birth-story is embodied in the Makhadeva-Sutta
of the Majjhima-Nikaya (No. 83), and this version is mentioned as a Suttanta
.example of ]ataka in the Chulla-Niddesa (p. 80). The Niddesa title Maghadeviya
Suttanta stands midway between the Nikaya and the Barhut names. The Suttanta
story of Makhadeva or Maghadeva contains also the story of Nimi, treated as a
separate Jataka in the Jataka-Commentary. The Chariya-Pitaka story of Makhadeva
is a much simpler narration, emphasizing his particular practice. These stories in
literature attest that the Barhut label names the scene after the Bodhisat, King
Makhadeva, Maghadeva or Mahadeva, the founder of the kingdom of Videha
with Mithila as its capital. The Ceylonese version, based upon the commentaries,
describes Makhadeva as the first mortal whose hair turned gray.
2
According to
an old legend in the Mathava Videgha or Madhava
Videha was the founder of the Videha kingdom, and it is not unlikely that this
Mathava or Madhava is the Makhadeva or Mahadeva of the Buddhist legend and
genealogy. The Suttantastory extols the whole Videha line of kings, from Makha-
deva to Nimi for withdrawal from the world on being shown a grey hair by the
barber. Besides the Makhadeva and the Nimi there are two other ]atakas, viz. the
Susima (F. 411) and the Chulla-Sutasoma (F. 525), which exemplify the Bodhisat' s
renunciation at the sight of a grey hair. The Suttanta story which is the basis of
the commentary version is as follows :-
Formerly in the city of Mithila there was a king, Makhadeva by name, who
was righteous and ruled righteously, faithfully observing fast and other religious
duties. This king, after many years, many hundreds and thousands of years had
passed away, asked his barber to let him know when he detected any grey hair on his
I calls it Devadma-Jataka.
2 Hardy's Manual of Buddhism, pp. !2:J foll.
JA TAKA-SCENES 85
bead. After many, many hundreds and thousands of years had passed away, the
barber saw grey hair on his head and called his attention to this fact, a single
~ r y hair according to the Commentary story. "Pull them out, my friend, and lay
ihem in my palm." The barber plucked them out with his tongs, golden tongs as
the commentary would say, and laid them one by one in his hand. At this point
we read in the Commentary : "The king had at that time still eighty-four thousand
years more to live ; but nevertheless at the sight of that one grey hair he was fllled
with deep emotion. He seemed to see the King of Death standing over him, or to
be cooped within a blazing hut of leaves. Foolish Makhadeva ! he cried ; grey
hairs have come upon you before you have been able to rid yourself of depravities.
And as he thought the sweat rolled down from his body ; whilst his raiment
oppressed him and seemed intolerable." After giving the grant of a village to his
barber he called his eldest son into his presence and said to him : "Noble prince,
my son, grey hairs are come upon me, and I am become old. I have had my flll of
human joys, and fain would taste the joys divine ; the time for my renunciation has
come. Take the sovereignty upon yourself ; as for me, I will take up my abode in
the pleasaunce, the mango-grove bearing my name, and there tread the ascetic's path.
But see my son, noble prince, that when you see grey hairs on your head you make
the grant of a village to your barber, resign the kingdom to your eldest son, and
tread the ascetic's path. This good round of duty set up by me, you must keep
going on, see that you are not become my annihilator by ending this line of action
so long as the present line of kings continues to rule." The king did what he said,
and the prince did what he was told. Makhadeva amused himself as prince for
-eighty-four thousand years, ruled as viceroy for the same number of years, for the
same number of years he reigned as king, and the same number of years he passed
as ascetic. The tradition was kept up by his son, grandson, and his worthy later
descendants, eighty-four thousand in number, the last of whom was the illustrious
king Nimi. King Ka!ara Janaka of his line became his annihilator by giving up the
tradition for the flrst time.
The Commentary story says that the king also took leave of his ministers
-explaining to them the reason of his retirement in the most stirring words. But the
Barhut scene rather follows the earlier version, representing the king, as it does, as
taking leave only of his eldest son, the prince and viceroy.
3. PI. XLIII. 2 [Scene 88] :-lsimiga-Jatakarh.
1
"Bodhisat' s part in saintly deer birth."
I Barua Sinha, 1\!o. 190.
22
86 BAR HUT
In this scene Cunningham sees two figures, one a man, apparently a royal
huntsman by his costume, and a deer, with a tree in the background.
1
This description is hardly sufficient for the identification of the scene. Here, on
the left, we see a deer standing beside a tree, the presence of which indicates
The saintly that the scene has been laid in a garden. The forelegs of the deer
himself in rest upon a block which shows an arch to put the head of the
the execution block
as a su!:Jstitute for a deer under it. On the right is a man who stands with an axe,
doe dunng her held on his left shoulder. He stands facing the deer and holding the
maternity. upper lip of the latter. Dr. Hultzsch has ably identified the scene
with the Nigrodhamiga-Jataka (F. 12), narrating how a deer-king offered himself
as a substitute at the execution-block in the royal park to save the life of a
The Jataka relates :-
The Bodhisat was then born as a golden deer. His eyes were like round
jewels. His horns were silvery white. His mouth was red as a bunch of scarlet
cloth. His hoofs were as though lacquered. His tail was like the yak's. He was
as big as a young foal. He dwelt in the forest as King Banyan Deer with a
herd of five hundred deer under him. Hard by him lived another golden
deer, Branch Deer by name, with an attendant of five hundred deer. In
those days the king of Benares was passionately fond of hunting, and
every day went hunting, taking with him the whole of his subjects, stopping
all their work. Seeing that they were disturbed in their daily work, the subjects
of this king managed by a well-planned device to drive the herds of deer with
their leaders, the Banyan and Branch Deer, from their forest haunt into the royal
park, and imprison them there. The king being informed that his pleasaunce was
filled with the deer driven from the forest, went there, and in looking over the
herds saw among them two golden deer, to whom he granted immunity. Some-
times he would go of his own accord and shoot a deer to bring home ; sometimes
his cook would go, and shoot one. In shooting one deer they struck terror
into the heart of the rest, causing them to dash off trembling for their lives. The
Banyan Deer discussed the matter with Branch, and decided that one deer should go
to the block (dhammagaQc;lika) by turns, one day one from one herd, and that the
deer on whom the lot would fall should go to the place of execution and lie
down with its head on the block. Now one day the lot fell on a pregnant doe
of the herd of Branch. She went to Branch, and said, ''Lord, I am with
1 Stlipa of Bharhut, p. 75.
2 JRAS, 1912.
JA T AKA-SCENES
87
When I have brought forth my little one, there will be two of us to take our
turn." Order me to be passed over this turn." "No, I cannot make you turn
another's", said he. Finding no favour with him, she went to Banyan, and told
him her story. He granted her her prayer, but chose to lay down his own life
for her, taking her doom on himse!f. He forthwith came up to the place of
execution where he lay down with his head on the block. The cook of the royal
household came as usual to the park, and was much surprised to see the golden
deer-king lying on the block. "Why here's the king of the deer who was granted
immunity ! What does this mean ?" He ran off to the king to tell him what
he saw. Therewithal the king personally came to the park to inquire into the matter.
My friend the king of the deer, "he said, "did I not promise you your life? HO\v
comes it that you are lying here ?" The noble deer-king frankly related the
whole story to him. "If so, arise," answered the king, speaking feelingly, "I
spare the lives both of you and of her." 'Though two be spared, what shall
the rest of deer here and elsewhere and other beasts and birds do, 0 king of
men ?" "I spare their lives too, my lord." Thus interceding with the king for
the lives of all creatures, the Bodhisat arose, and teaching the truth to the king,
passed into the forest with his attendant herd.
The Barhut representation of the Banyan is life-like, and faithful to the
literary description. lt is difficult to understand whether the man who stands
conversing with the deer, with an axe on his shoulder, is the cook or the king
himself.
4. PI. XLIV. 8 [Scene 8Ia] :-The subject of this bas-relief, as suggested
by Cunningham, is the reverence paid by a herd of spotted deer to a Bodhi-tree,
with the Bodhimai;tQa, or Throne of the Buddha, placed beneath it
1

Trained young deer
stands the test in In the absence of a canopy or parasol standing as a distinctive
ruses. artistic symbol for a connected with Buddha Gautama
or an express reference to it as a in the inscription, one must take
it to be an ordinary woodland shrine. We do not quite appreciate why stress
should be laid on the reverential attitude of the deer. To make out the story,
we should rather notice how the woodland-shrine presents on its two sides two
different situations, where three spotted deer (chitramriga) appear as the actors.
In the situation to the left, we see three deer, standing side by side, before the
chaitya. The one standing in the middle is a stag or grown up male deer, with
antlers nicely curved in front. The one standing on his right side is a young deer
I Stupa of Bharhut, p. 102,
:88 BAR HUT
without antlers. The third one on his left side can be easily marked out as a
hind or grown up doe. The stage in the middle stands, with his masterful
personality, gracefully stretching out his body on his forelegs, while the forepart
of his body, together with his neck, artfully bent upward enabling him to place
his mouth on his back. The scene to the right clearly shows that now the young
-deer has become grown up with antlers, peculiar to the male species. He is
-either crouching on his four legs. or lying down, at full length, on one side, bending
his neck backward making his mouth touch his outstretched back. and straightening
<>ut his tail, his total posture being one of stiffness. lt is clear that he is trying
to manipulate or reproduce, in a different form the artful posture displayed by
the senior stag, who, also in this scene, stands in the middle, gravely watching
the situation. The female deer, too, reappears on his right side, standing a little
bzhind him, and looking out over his back. If our study of these details be
-correct, here we have undoubtedly a sculptural representation of Buddhist
Birth-story, the Tipallatthamiga-Jataka (F. 16), which relates how a hind
-entrusted her son to the care of her brother, asking him to teach her son
the ruses or tricks of deer (miga-maya), and became happy that her boy stood
the test. Thus this story illustrates the beneficent effect of mindfulness and dis-
ciplined habit on the part of an intelligent pupil receiving training from an expert
teacher with fatherly affection, in contrast to another story in the Kharadiya-
Jataka (F. 15), which brings out evil effects of the unruly conduct and heedlessness
on the part of a pupil under training.
The Bodhisat was then born, says the Jataka, as a stag, who lived in the
forest at the head of the herd of deer. His sister left her son in his care for
training in r u s ~ s Following instructions of his teacher and uncle, her son, the
young stag soon mastered the ruses. Now came the trial. One day, while
ranging the woods, he was caught in a snare. The herd hearing his plaintive
cry, fled away in fear to inform his mother of his capture. Anxiously she came
to her brother, who assured her of her son's dexterity and safe return :-
"In all three postures-on his back or sides-
Y. our son is versed ; he is trained to use eight hoofs-
And save at midnight never slakes his thirst ;
And he lies couched on earth, he lifeless seems,
And only with his under-nostril breathes.
Six tricks my nephew knows to cheat his foes."
JA T AKA-SCENES 89
The clever young stag iay down at full length on his side, with his legs stretched
out taut and rigid, in short, successfully tried the sixth trick. The hunter came to
the spot. Thinking the young stag was exhausted and powerless to escape, he
released him from his bonds, and leaving him there, went to see his way to making
a fire to roast him. The young captive seizing the opportunity rose to his feet,
shook himself, stretched out his neck, and quickly came back to his mother to her
great joy.
In the light of this story, the two situations can be explained as one being
that of training of the young stag and the other that of his trial, both hallowed by
the mother's solicitation for her son's welfare. The ruse displayed by him in the
second situation is certainly the sixth trick enabling him to appear as if he was
.dead already.
5. PI. XL VI [Scene 90] :-This scene survives only in a small fragment,
presenting the front view of a high-mettled and caparisoned horse which stands
The noble charger, lifting up his left foreleg. From the attitude of the horse it is clear
though wounded, that he has been made to halt on arrival at a certain place. Though
enables the Knight the other details are missing, it seems probable that the scene is no
to break down all
the enemies' camps other than that of the Bhojajanlya-]ataka (F. 23), and that it bore,
and return victonous when it was complete, a label containing the above title.
1
The
to the king's gate. Jataka relates :-
The Bodhisat was then born as a thoroughbred Sindh horse, and was made
the royal charger by the king of Benares. Once the city of Benares was encom-
passed by seven hostile kings. The Knight who was commanded to go alone to
fight them wanted the king's charger. His desire being readily granted, he led out
the noble charger, sheathed in mail, arming himself cap-a-pie and girding on his
sword. Mounted on this noble steed, he passed out of the city-gate, and with a
lightning charge broke down six camps, one after another, taking six kings captives.
In breaking down the sixth camp the horse was wounded, and was made to lie down
at the king's gate. The Knight set about arming another horse, when the Bodhisat
opened his eyes and saw what the Knight was doing. He called the Knight,
and asked him to set him upon his feet arming him again in proof. The Knight did
what he was told. Mounted again on the noble charger, he destroyed the seventh
camp, carrying alive the seventh king as captive. The Bodhisat was led back to
the king's gate. The king came out to look upon him. The noble being exhorted
I Barua Sinha, No. !91.
23
90
BAR HUT
the king to let off the seven captive kings after binding them by an oath, and passed
away as the mail was being taken off piecemeal.
6. PI. XXVII. 11 [Scene 91] :-Harhsa-Jataka.
1
"The Bodhisat' s birth as a Mallard."
This scene, which was evidently sculptured in one of the Coping-panels,
survives in a fragment retaining the greater portion of the upper part of the originaJ.:!
Peacock's sh>meless
The inscription which, too, fortunately survives, lead us to observe
dance. in it the Bodhisat' s watchfulness in one of his Harhsa-births. The
fragment shows on the right a peacock with his outspread tail and
upraised head, who appears in the glory of his plumage and is being watched by
the gentle Harhsa standing on the left. They are standing on a bare rocky height
situated close by a lake or water-pool with lotuses, addin'fl much to the loveliness
and serenity of the place. The literary counterpart of the illustration has been
traced by Cunningham in the Nachcha-Jataka (F. 32), which we sum up below :-
The Bodhisat was then born as a Survan:ta-harhsa, the Golden Mallard,
chosen as the king of birds. He had a lovely young daughter whom he granted
the right to choose her husband. Desiring to settle her marriage, he invited all the
birds to assemble together in the Himalayan country. All species of birds came,
swans, peacocks, and the rest. They flocked together on a great plateau of bare
rock. The princess duly came out to choose a husband after her liking. Her choice
naturally fell upon the peacock who outshone other birds with his neck of jewelled
sheen and tail of varied hue. On this being communicated to him, the peacock
began to dance with joy, in defiance of all rules of decency,in the open assembly, out-
spreading his wings ; in dancing he exposed himself. Seeing the fellow was devoid of
modesty within and decorum without, Kin'fl Golden Mallard, gave his daughter to
a youn'fl mallard, who was a nephew of his.
The Harhsa watching the peacock shamelessly dancing in the bas-relief, must
be the Bodhisat, Kin'fl Golden Mallard.
7. PI. INDIAN MUSEUM. 60 [Scene 92] :-In this scene, carved in a
Coping-panel, a mighty bull with large and well-shaped horns is seen defiantly
The bull compels crouching on the ground behind a man who stands, catching hold
the merchant to of the left side of his waist with his left har.d and pointing at the
pay his wages. action of the bull with his outstretched right hand, his forefingers.
I Barua Sinha, No. 190.
2 Stapa of Bharhut, p. 69.
JAT 9I
touching the top of a tall shrubby plant. The forepart of the bull' s body being
broken and considerably damaged, it is diffkult to ascertain if anything was tied
round his neck or horns. But it seems likely that the subject is a story similar to
that of the Kanha-Jataka (F. 29) which is summarised below.
The Bodhisat then came to life as a bull. A poor old woman reared him
like her own child. He was a jet-black and was known by the name of Granny's
Blackie. He was always looking out for a job to help his mother. A young
caravan merchant badly needed the service of a strong bull for pulling five hundred
heavy-laden carts across a ford. His eye fell on Granny's Blackie. He enquired
about his owner and was told that he had got no master. But he would not budge
till his pay was fixed. The merchant promised to pay one thousand coins in all.
He did his duty manfully and well. The merchant tied round his neck a bundle of
five hundred coins only, i.e., just half of the stipulated amount. He would not let
him move on. He stood across the path of the caravan and blocked the way. Try
as they would, they could not get him out of the way. "I suppose he knows I've
paid him short," thought the merchant. He tied the bundle of a thousand coins
round his neck, and away he went with these pieces of money to his mother. The
blockade caused by the bull and the merchant's thought at it seem to form the
subject of Barhut illustration.
8. PI. XXVII 15 [Scene 93] :-This is a small fragment of a medallion-
carving, presenting a flock of birds, looking like quails. Five of these birds in a flying
Quails quarrelling attitude are placed in one direction, their bodily motion indicating
are caught in the that they are preparing themselves to fly in a body, carrying snares
fowler'snet. d h f A h J J f J
or nets un er t eir eet. not er quai, apparent y o a arger
species, stands in the opposite direction without any attempt for flying. This bird
is seen standing on a rod of the snare or net, one end of which is caught hold of
by a human hand. It is very likely that this has-relief was intended to illustrate a
scene from the story of the Fowler and the Birds, of which the Buddhist version is
contained in the Sammodamana-Jataka ( F. 33. ). The Panchatantra or the
version describes the birds as pigeons.
According to the Buddhist version, the Bodhisat was then born as a quail who
lived in a forest with a large number of followers. So long as they lived in concord
and acted with united resolve, obeying their leader, they were able to frustrate the
repeated attempts of a fowler to catch them. One day, one of the quails, in aligh-
ting on their feeding ground, trod by accident on the head of another. He asked
the other not to be angry, saying that he did it unintentionally. But the other
92 BARHUT
remained as angry as before. They fell quarrelling with each other. Some of their
-comrades also took part in their quarrel and some remained neutral. The Bodhisat
tried to pacify them. Seeing it was a hopeless business, he went away with those
who liked to follow him. A few days later, the fowler came. He imitated the
quail's cry as a device to collect them and cast his net over them. They could
have easily saved themselves, if they in a body flew up with the net. But
1nstead of doing so, they were asking one another to lift it away. Thus they lost
their time. They did not lift up the net. The fowler got the time to lift the same
for them and bag them all.
9. PI. XLV. 7 [Scene 94] :-A pair of birds are the only actors in this
scene and these, as Cunningham makes out, look like doves, sitting on two different
-Greedy crow walls and conversing, there being between them the round gable end
.perishes actmg con- of a house, to the right of which is a lower house, with a door in
trary to the counsel the outer wall, and in the background a row of houses with a second
of its frienJ, the
wise p i ~ e o n round gable end.I
We fail to understand how the birds look like doves. So far as we can
make out, the bird perchin'6 on a log attached to the side wall of the lower
house noticed by Cunningham is a big pigeon, and the second bird standing
in a basket hung up from the roof against the side wall of another house is distinctly
a crow. This distinction in the representation of the two birds has enabled Professor
Rhys Davids and other scholars to identify the scene with the Kapota- Jataka (F. 42)
three other versions of which are entitled Lola-Jataka (F. 27 4 ), Kapota-Jataka
(F. 375), and Kaka-Jataka (F. 395). This Jataka illustrates by the story of the
Pigeon and the Crow the moral that a headstrong person acting contrary to the
kindly counsel of a friend perishes altogether.
The Bodhisat was, says the Jataka, born a pigeon. The cook of a rich man
hang up, as an act of piety, a straw basket in the kitchen. A greedy crow made
friendship with the Bodhisat. He wanted to taste the delicacy of the dishes of meat
and flsh prepared by the cook. The pigeon warning him not to fall a prey to greed
flew away to flnd his daily food. The cook went outside the door of the kitchen
to wipe the sweat of his brow, putting a colander on the top of the sauce-pan
containing a dish of flsh. The crow thinking the time was opportune, entered the
kitchen and alighted on the colander with a desire to carry off a large piece of flsh.
But 'click' went the colander, the cook ran inside. and seeing the crow meant a
I St':ipa of B'mhut, p. I 03.
JATAKA-SCENES 93
mischief, hold of him, and rudely him, him back into the nest-
basket where he lay till his friend, the wise pigeon, came back in the
to see him die a painful death.
10. PI. XLV. 5 [Scene 95] :-This bas-relief occupies one of the small
Coping-panels, presenting, as observed by Cunningham, a man and two monkeys in
the midst of a forest, one of the monkeys carryinoo away a pair of
Bodhisat remon-
strates w1th monk.eys water vessels slung from the ends of banghi pole, the other monkey
destroying
ple:1saunce.
sitting on the ground, holding some indistinct object, perhaps like a
net, is his hands in front of the man who is standing and apparently
addressing him.
1
We cannot dispute that the scene is that of a forest or a park, which is here
represented by five clearly visible young trees grown in a row. The carrying of
water-vessels by one of the monkeys shows that he is busy watering the plants.
The other monkey, seated on the ground in the middle holds up in his hands an
uprooted plant, the roots and branches of which can clearly be seen. He is sitting
before the man on the left, the experience of whose gate indicates that he has just
arrived on the spot to take the monkeys to task for some mischief done by them.
The monkey in the middle is explaining the matter to him. These details go to show
that the scene is invaritably that of the story of the Aramadi.isaka-Jataka, of which
there are two verisons (F. 46 & 268).
2
The Birth-story relates that the Bodhisat was at the time a citizen of Benares.
The gardener in charge of a royal park went to enjoy a holiday leaving it in the
custody of the monkeys who dwelt there enjoying the benefits of the pleasauncc-the
flowers, fruits, and young shoots. The monkeys, as requested, began to water the
growing trees with the water-skins and wooden watering pots which the gardener
entrusted to them. Being anxious to prevent the waste of water, their chief com-
manded to pluck up each young tree to examine the size of its roots. They did
their chiefs bidding. At their juncture, the Bodhisat bppened to be in the park to
see what they were doing. "What are you about" he said, charging the monkeys,
are you uprooting these plants in watering them ?" The monkeys tried to
explain that they were not to blame for they did what they were asked to do by
their chief. The Bodhisat rebuked them for their thoughtlessness, though, as he then
reflected, their concerted action bore this golden lesson that the ignorant and foolish,
with their best intention, succeed only in doing harm.
I StOp a of Bharhut, p. I 02.
2 by T. W. Rhys D.lViJs.
24
91
BAR HUT
The man standing in the scene in dignified manner and reproaching the
monkeys, is certainly the Bodhisat of the Birth-story.
11. PI. XXX. 8 [Scene 95a] :-J:'arh-bramhano-avayesi-Jatakarh\
"The Jataka (with the verse)-As the Brahmin played."
The sides of this medallion-carving are cut away, leaving only the middle
portion with the above inscription, The scene of action is evidently laid in an
inner apartment of the Brahmin's private residence
2
, which is here
Scene of the Birth-
story in whtch a represented as a two-storeyed mansion of the usual Barhut style.
Brahmin chaplain is The mansion is indicative of its owner's high social or official
said to have failed position. The Brahmin of the inscription is seated to the left on
to protect his youth-
ful wife, bringing a high morha, resting his two feet evenly on a cubical footstool
her up in strict seclu- in front and holding out a harp with his hands, held up below his
her very chin. He is blindfolded with a piece of cloth. A youthful woman,
trt
richly dressed, stands before him, slightly kneeling forward and
stretching forth her right hand and holding the same before him as if asking him
to feel it, while a much stronger hand with a closed fist is raised from her behind,
ready to deal a blow on the left face of the Brahmin, turned towards it. The
attitude of the BraHmin's face clearly shows that the blow dealt is far other than
what was expected from the tender hand of a woman, partrcularly from one who
was so youthful and beloved a wife. The same woman is shown in another position
behind, and that in a dancing attitude. Between her two positions are shown
one hand and one leg, much bigger than those of hers, and these seem to indicate
the presence of a second man concealed behind her. lt is apparent that she danced
and her hushand played upon the harp and after dancing for a while, she, under
the pretence of expressing her fondness, played a womanly trick, creating an
opportunity for a wicked man in intrigue to practise a strangely fatal practical
joke. Cunningham has rightly identified the scene with the story of the Aryqabhuta-
Jataka (F. 62), narrating how a Brahmin chaplain failed to prevent his youthful
wife doing mischief, though she was brought up in strict seclusion from her very
birth. It relates :-
The Bodhisat was then the intelligent king of Benares. He used to play
at dice with his Brahmin chaplain. In making the throw he chanted a verse harping
on the depravity of woman's nature, working iniquity when there was an opportu-
nity, as a catch for luck, and each time won the game by its power. The chaplain
I Barua Ssnha No. 193.
2 Stupa of Bharhut, p. 66.
JA T AKA-SCENES 95
desiring to make out an exception and use it as a counter catch, married a young
girl after bringing her up in strict seclusion, since he secured her while she was
in her mother's womb (al)qabhuta). She was shut up in the inner apartment of
an isolated and well-guarded seven-storeyed mansion. Confident of her unsullied
purity and unparalleled virtue, he challenged the king to a fresh game. The king,
as usual, sang the catch on throwing the dice. The Brahmin pointed out the
exception with referencs to his wife and this time won the game. The king employed
a clever rogue to try his skill as a scamp. He got hold of the old woman who
daily suppplied flowers in the Brahmin's house and had a free access into the inner
apartment, and through her instrumentality he came to be known to the Brahmin's
wife and smuggled at last into his house. A day or two passed, before he left
her company, he desired to make an impression on the Brahmin as a proof of
the strange happening in his house. He wanted to cuff the innocent Brahmin.
"I shall see it done", said she, and he remained hiding himself and waiting for the
opportunity. When the Brahmin came home, she said, she would like to dance,
if he would play the lute for her. He agreed, "But I must hide your handsome
face flrst with a cloth and then I will dance". "All right, if you're too modest to
dance otherwise". After dancing awhile, she desired to hit him once on his head.
"Hit dway", said the unsuspecting dotard. Then she made a sign to the man in
intrigue and he softly stole up behind the Brahmin and smote him on the head,
causing his eyes almost to start out. ''Give me your hand, my dear girl", said
he, smarting with pain. She placed it in his, asking if it was not soft." "Ah !
it is a soft hand, but it hits hard !" Now the king proposed a game with the
dice. As he made the throw, he sang his old catch and the Brahmin pointed
out his wife as an exception, still fondly believing that she was a paragon of virtue.
But lo ! the Brahmin lost the game and knew not why. The king reminded
him of blindfolding and smiting by a soft hand and then he understood what the
matter was.
12. PI. XLV. 9 [Scene 96] :-Chitupada-sila.
1
"The gambler fond of the square-board game,"
This label is inscribed above the bas-relief representing the scene which,
according to Cunningham, shows two parties of two men, each seated on a
The sharper's sad broad-faced rock, and playing at some game like draughts. He
plight in playing notices on the surface of the rock a square space divided into
tricks. 36 small squares, beside which there are several small square pieces,
I Barua Smha, No. 194.
96 BARHUT
with marks on the top, evidently used in playing the game. He further observes
how the rock has suddenly split between the two parties, and the two men on
the right side are sinking downwards with the smaller half of the rock, which is
already in a very slanting position. He thinks the Chetiya-Jataka (F. 422) narrating
how King Chetiya, for having told a lie and persisted in the untruth, went alive to hell,
the earth opening to embosom him, illustrates the chief point in the Barhut scene.
1
We cannot quite agree with Cunningham in thinking the game was played
between two parties of two men. lt seems more likely that each party consisted
of one man on each side, shown, of course, in two different positions and
attitudes. Counting the smaller pieces beside the game-board, we find that there are
just six, one of which is shown separately and placed before the man on the
left side, sitting cross-legged and pointing at the piece with the forefinger of his
right hand.
The same man is shown behind with a threatening attitude as indicated by the
movement of the uplifted forefinger of his right hand. The man on the right side,
as shown in one position, kneels before the other man on the opposite side, with his
joined hands, stretched out in front. The same man in another position is seated,
holding something in his right hand and looking towards the other man. The
dignified appearance of the man on the left at once marks him out as Bodhisat.
The square board with 36 squares appears to have been formed by incising the
surface of the stone-slab. There is to be seen near the man to the left a box,
evidently used for putting in the small pieces. A tree stands behind the party seated
on the right side. The splitting of the rock need not be taken to symbolise the
opening of the earth referred to in the Chetiya-Jataka. This Birth-story tells us
nothing about the playing of any game. The apparent splitting of the rock can as
well be explained as a result of certain dislocation of two separate stone-pieces
joined together to form the complete board. The dislocation may have been due to
some accident befalling the man on the right, who seems to be in some sort of danger.
We mean that what Cunningham interprets as a case of splitting is really a case of
overriding of one slab upon the other, due to sudden pressure of weight and loss of
balance. The sculptor seems to be anxious to indicate not only that the two slabs being
placed face to face, in confrontation, completed the square board with spaces for the
players to sit but that these were set upon some small pieces of stone, several
of which are distinctly shown below the slab to the left, and on the right side
of the piece on the right. If this canjecture be allowed, we may proceed, as
I StJpa of Bharhut, pp. 94-95.
JATAKA,SCENES 97
directed by Hoernle, to look for a story representing the Bodhisat as a player
of games. There is only one Birth-story which specifkally represents the Bodhisat
as a professional dice-player. lt is the Litta-Jataka (F. 91).
lt is said that the Bodhisat in one of his births, became a professional
dice-player. With him used to play a sharper (Kutakkhadhutta) who kept on
playing while he was winning and when there were ch<lnces of defeat, broke up
the game (kelimaryqalath bhindi) by putting one of the dice in his mouth and
pretending it was lost. But the Bodhisat was a good match for him. He took
some dice, anointed them at home with poison, dried them carefully, and used them
when playing another day with the sharper, challenged to a game. The dice-board
was got ready and play began. As the sharper began to lose, he popped one of
the dice into his mouth, not knowing what it was. ''Swallow away, my dear
fellow !" the Bodhisat sternly remarked, "you will soon find out what it really is,
what burning poison lurks unseen.'' Hardly the Bodhisat had finished his remarks,
the man grew faint, rolled his eyes, and bending double with pain fell to the ground.
But the Bodhisat must not let him die, a rascal though he was. He saved him by
an emetic. Then he exhorted him not to play such tricks again.
The Birth-story certainly explains many details of the scene, though the game
played seems to have been other than dice. The Bodhisat represented in one attitude
may be understood as making up his mind to teach the sharper a lesson, and in the
second attitude, as giving exhortation to which the other man is listening eagerly.
13. PI. XLVII. 9. [Scene 971 :-Asaqa vadhu susane sigala iiati.
1
"Woman Ashaqha, jackals on the funeral ground, her kinsman."
The scene, as may be expected, presents a funeral ground, literally a ground
for the lying in of corpses, where the youthful aud intelligent woman Ashaqha is seen
Lovers are at last
brought together m
a jacbl-hauntcd
charnel-grove.
hurriedly climbing up a large tree to the right, chased by a
pack of three jackals from the foot of a smaller tree to the left,
while a man is lying at full length on the ground, pretending to be
dead, with his head towards the smaller tree and feet touching the
larger one. His head rests on the palm ot his left hand. The woman holds herself
tight between two branches on the right, leaning forward her body and watching
the approaching jackals below. It is a narrow escape on her part, for the space
between the upraised mouth of the forward jackal and her left knee is hardly a
I Barua Sinha, No. 195.
25
98
BARHUT
hair-breadth.
1
These details may be explained by a story similar to that of the
(F. 126). The relevant portion of the Jataka is narrated
below:-
King Brahmadatta of Benares had no son, only a daughter and a nephew
(sister's son) who were brought up together under his own eye. As they grew up,
they loved each other. The nephew was heir to the throne. The king thought at
first of giving him his daughter to wife ; later on he changed his mind, and ordered
them to dwell apart, desiring to separate the two. Their love grew intense. The
young prince wishing to take away the princess from her father's place, got hold of
a wise woman, who promised him success. She went and told the king that as his
daughter was under the influence of Kalakan;tl, in possession of a Black-omen, she
would take her, under a strong armed escort, to the corpse's lying.in-ground, where
in a magic circle she would lay her on a bed with a dead man under it, and wash
the evil out of her. On this pretext she brought her to the cemetery-grove
(susanavana), where the prince, as pre-arranged, lay down as though dead within
the magic circle, taking some ground pepper with him. The crony woman led the
princess off and laid her upon the bed, whispering to her not to be afraid if she
really wished to meet the prince she loved. At once the prince snuffed at the pepper
and sneezed. The old woman fled away in fear, leaving the princess. Not a man
stood his ground, one and all bolted for dear life. Now the prince got up and
triumphantly brought her to his home. When the wise king, the Bodhisat heard the
news, he did not mind it, as he always intended them to be man and wife.
The details of the Barhut story
3
can be consistently made out thus : When
the princess was brought into the charnel-grove, the jackals haunting the place rushed
forth, when the old woman screaming out that demons were coming, fled away,
and ran off all who came with the princess, leaving her alone on the spot, who, in
her helplessness. climbed the tree, and the prince feigning to be dead, taking the
opportunity, rose up and came to her rescue.
I Cf. Stiipa of Bharhur, p. 36 : "In the foreground a man is lying down apparently either dead or asleep, and
quite unnoticed by three jackals who are watching a female sitting in a tree, to which she is clinging With
both hands. The man lymg on the ground is probably a corpse."
2 Cf. Sigala-Jaraka (f. 142), where a clever rogue hes down as if dead in a charnel-grove, club in hand,
meaning to k1ll a jackal prowhng about to eat the corpses, but is outwitted by a pack of jackals under the
Bodhisar, their expert leader.
3 Cunningham suggests that the story agrees pretty closely with Rama, the king of B2nares and the Princess
Priya, the eldest sister of four Sakya brothers who founded Kap1lavastu. See Hardy's Manual of Buddhis'll,
pp. 266-271.
JAT AKA SCENES 99
14. PI. Indian Museum. 114. Two Fragments Of A Coping Panel
In Cunningham's Original Photograph [Scene 98] :-

"Matted-hair ascetics' dwelling-hall."
Regarding one of the two fragments, preserved in the Indian Museum, Cunn-
ingham observes that the quoted label is incised above a Coping-panel which is badly
In spttz of thz 8.Jd-
his:1t's warntng, one
ascetic keeps an
elephant only to be
tra'l1pled to de:1th.
broken, leaving the only portion where one can see a tree with rocks,
and half of the head and upper part of the body of a man. He
believes that the original scene represented the Assembly of the Jatilas,
who were the followers of Uruvilva-Kasyapa. This Kasyapa and
his two brothers were the-worshippers, and as such they are
represented in the Sanchi and Gandhara sculptures. The Barhut sculpture must
have contained a still earlier representation of the Assembly of the Jatila flre-
worshippers.2
Examining Cunningham' s original photographs of several fragments of the
Coping we discover two which serve to complete the Barhut scene with the labei-
Jatila-sabha. The scene presents the view of a rocky mountain where a growing
tree can be seen in the left, a cave-dwelling in the middie and a standing elephant
in the right. A matted-hair ascetic is seated cross-legged inside the cave-dwelling
which is approached by an elephant on the right, while some blazing fire-altars can
be seen on the open ground below the elephant. We are aware that the Buddhist
legends introduce us to a scene of the meeting of Uruvilva-Kasyapa and the Buddha,
resulting in the conversion of the former, followed by the conversion of his two
brothers. These legends record that there were three separate colonies or bands of
the Jatilas who settled in three places of the Gaya District, under three Kasyapa
leaders. They were, like the Vedic Kesis and the of the Vanaprastha order,
wearers of matted hair and worshippers of fire. They neither lived alone nor kept
to a family life in the forest. They developed a sort of corporate life under a distinct
leadership. They formed, nevertheless, a sect of Vedic ascetics, worshipping fire and
performing sacrificial rites. They stood for the ideal of external purity, and strove
for supernatural powers and mystical experiences. The Jati!as of the Barhut scene
seem to answer to this class of Vedic ascetics. But we And no cogent reason to
connect the scene with a legend of the Buddha's present life. Had it been intended
to represent the story of conversion of the Kasyapa brothers and their foilowers, we
I Barua Sinha, No. 160. also Addenda & Corn_;,errja.
2 StJp>. of Bharhut, pp. 93-94.
100 BAR HUT
might have noticed the presence of the Buddha indicated by some appropriate symbol.
There is no such symbol. Further, the Buddhist story of the conversion of the
Kasyapa brothers cannot explain why the cave-dwelling is approached by an elephant.
The scene is evidenily intended to illustrate a Birth-story, and this story is perhaps
no other than that of the lndasamanagotta- Jataka (F. 161), or that of the Mittamitta-
Jataka (f. 197), in which one ascetic is said to have kept a pet elephant only to be
trampled to death, in spite of the Bodhisat' s warning. The story relates :-
The Bodhisat then lived as an ascetic in the H imalayan region, with a company
of five hundred ascetics, of whom he was the leader. One of his followers had a
pet elephant. When the teacher had found this out, he sent for the ascetic, and
advised him not to keep the young elephant any longer. But he would still rear the
animal, and did so till it grew to an immense size. Once the ascetics had all gone
far afield to gather roots and fruits in the forest, absenting themselves from their
dwelling-place for several days. In the meantime the elephant fell in a frenzy at the
first breath of the south wind. He forthwith proceeded to destroy this hut, smash
this water-jar, overturn this stone-bench, and tear up this pallet. Not satisfied with
this, he sped into the jungle, where he waited watching for the return of the ascetic
who reared him up. The ascetic came first, carrying food for his pet. As the
elephant saw him coming, he rushed from the jungle, seized him in his trunk, dashed
him to the ground, and crushing the life out of him, scampered into the forest
madly trumpeting. When the other ascetics had brought this news to the
Bodhisat, he exhorted them by the sad fate of the elephant-keeper to be obedient
and not obstinate, and to be clever enough to be able to distinguish a friend
from a foe.
15. PI. XLVI. 8.-Sechha-Jataka.
1
[Scene 99]
"The Jataka-episode of water-drawing."
The headin'5 is inscribed above the bas-relief where Cunningham observes four
actors, two man and two monkeys. The monkey standin<5 in a tree is bein<5
addressed, he says, by one of the men who carries a pair of water
The kind-hearted
Brahmin draws vessels on a pole, while the other monkey who is standing on the
water for a thirsty ground is receiving in his hands a drink of water poured from the
monkey only to get J b h h S h h h
vesse y t e ot er man. eeino" t at t e rioht s oulders of both the
g n m c ~ and insult t>
in return. men are bare and their heads are unshaved, he is led to think that
they are monks.
2
1 Barua Sinha, No. 196. 2 Stjpa of Bharhut, p. 76.
JA T AKA-SCENES 101
What we actually se is a scene of two actors, a man and a monkey,
placed in two different situations. In the first situation, shown on the left, a thirsty
monkey standing on the ground is having, with the help of his two hands a drink
of water poured out in streams from a water-jug, taken out of the net-frame of
hanger-cords and held up at a height by the man who stands to the left. The hair
of the man's head is certainly all shaven except a tuft or lock which is clearly
visible on the crown. He appears in a simple dress without any ornaments. In
the second situation, the same monkey stands on an outgoing branch of a tree,
beside another tree with a similar foliage to the right. He stands on all-fours, like
a cat, making a peculiar gesture of his face and gazing at the man carrying, beneath
the tree, two water-vessels on a wooden pole, placed on his left shoulder. The
man seems to reproach the monkey with his frowning eyes and upraising the fore-
finger of his right hand. The scene thus depicted has rightly been identified by
Professor Rhys Davids and others with the story of the Dubhiya-Makkata-Jataka
(F. 174), illustrating how a compassionate Brahmin drew water from a well for a
thirsty monkey only to receive grimace and insult in return.
The Bodhisat, says the Jataka, was, in one of his births, a Brahmin inhabitant
of a place in K a ~ l One day, in going on some errand along a high way, he came
to a place, having a deep well, adjoining a big forest, where troops of monkeys
dwelt. There being no other source of water than this well in the neighbourhood,
people believed it to be an act of merit to fill a trough with water drawn therefrom
for the denizens of the forest. When the tender-hearted Brahmin came to the spot,
he saw a thirsty monkey walking up and down by the well, looking for water.
He drew water from the well by means of a long rope and a bucket, and filled
the trough out of compassion for the monkey. He sat down under a tree, to see
what the creature would do. The monkey after drinking water to his heart's
content, sat down upon a branch of this tree just above the head of the Brahmin
making faces to frighten his benefactor. "Ah, thou rascally beast !" the Brahmin
said, reproaching the monkey, ''is this the return of the service I have done thee ?"
"That's not all I can do", replied the monkey, "there is something more yet to be
done." The Brahmin thought it was already more than enough, but the monkey
was clever enough to spoil his purity and go away shrieking.
This is the only instance where a Brahmin of the time is distinctly represented.
The well and the trough mentioned in the Jataka are not depicted.
16. Pis. Two Coping Panels. [Scene IOO] :-The first of these two
broken panels presents in the middle of its upper part, an arched doorway with
26
102 BARHUT
hood-mouldings, before which two royal personages are seriously conversing
with each other, the one on the left sitting cross-legged,
Prince Peerless is and the other on the right remaining at a respectful distance
brought into the d d Th h
an probably stan ing. e same two men reappear in t e
presence of a king,
w:.o gds him into second panel where one of them, standing under a tall mango-
his service. He
justtfies the royal
favour by h1s feat
of archery.
tree, manfully twangs his bow to discharge an arrow, apparently
aiming at the tree-top. There is a second mango-tree with hanging
bunches of fruits to the right of the one under which he takes
his stand. The archer stands behind the other man who leans forward
over something which is broken off. Cunningham rightly suggests
1
that here we
have a clear representation of the story of the Asadisa-Jataka (F. 181}, another
version of which is narrated very briefly in the Saraksheparya-Jataka of the Mahavastu.
2
The details of the scenes can be rendered intelligible by the following narration :-
King Brahmadatta of Benares had two sons, Prince Asadrisa and Prince
Brahmadatta. Prince Asadrisa was peerless in the science of archery. After the
king's death the elder prince offered the thron,e to the younger and chose to live as
heir-apparent. But his younger brother took him to be a rebel, and would have
imprisoned him. Without any resentment he went away into another country.
Arriving at the <Jate of a city he sent in word to the king that an archer was come
and awaited. He was brought into the king's presence, and stood waitin<J. "Are
you the archer ?" asked the king. "Yes, Sire," he replied. "The wa<Jes you ask,
I am told, are a hundred thousand a year." "Yes, Sire". "Very well, I take you
into my service." "Too mnch", the old archers grumbled. One day the king went
into his park, accompanied by his archers. There at the foot of a mango-tree he
lay reclined upon a couch. Right at the tree-top he saw a cluster of man<Jo-fruits,
and asked his archers if they could cut it off with an arrow and brin<J
it down for him. They desired that the new-comer should try. The king
asked Peerless if he could do it. Oh yes, your Majesty, if I take my
stand where your couch stands". The king had the couch removed to give him
place. He doffed the white cloth which he wore over all, and put on a red cloth
next his skin ; then he fastened his <Jirdle, and donned a red waist-cloth. From
ba<J he took out a sword in pieces. which he put to<Jether and <Jirt on his left side.
Next he put on a mailcoat of gold, fastened his bow-case over his back, and took
out his ramshorn bow, made in several pieces, which he flrted together, flxed the
bowstring, red as coral ; put a turban on his head." He took his place where
I Stupa of Bharhut, pp. 70-71. 2 ,"1ahavastu 11. pp. 82-13.
JAT AKA-SCENES 103
the couch stood, arrow set to bow, He let off the first arrow which went up,
piercing the exact centre of the mango-stalk on its way into the sky. Then he
discharged another arrow which flew higher up, striking the feather of the first
arrow and turning it back. The sound of the falling arrow as it cleft the air was
like a thunder-clap, frightening all the bystanders. Down came the arrow, neatly
cutting through the stalk of the mango-cluster. The archer caught the arrow in one
hand and the fruits in the other, without letring them fall on the ground. All
praised him for this marvellous feat. The king and his courtiers showered gifts and
honours like rain.
The Barhut sculptor appears to have illustrated a simpler story than one in the
Jataka-Commentary.
17. PI. XXXII. 4. [Scene 101] :-In this medallion we see a caparisoncd state
elephant cautiously walking ahead on a bridge over a ditch, carrying a Jayadhvaja
in his trunk. The Jayadhvaja consists of a shield of garlands,
The king makes a d d f b f d T d
suspen e rom the ent top o a woo en post. he river, putting
entry into
the conquered city. on a coat, is mounted on his back, holding a goad in his left hand,
and a standard of garlands in his right. Another man similarly
dressed, probably the king himself, is seated behind the driver, holdin@ with his left
hand the rope that is tied round the elephant's body, and holdin\5 up with his right
the standard consisting of a flag, suspended from a wooden post, crowned by
a T riratna symbol. The state elephant is followed by a smaller elephant
carrying a driver who appears to be the royal umbrella bearer. The representation
is evidently a scene of triumphal entry of a king into a conquered city, and if this
supposition is correct, the scene may satisfactorily be identified with the Satigama-
vachara- Jataka (F. 182), narrating how a well-trained state elephant obeyed the word
of command. We read :-
The Bodhisat was then an expert elephant-trainer in the service of a king who
bore hostility to the king of Benares. He trained the state elephant of this king
to perfection. This king being determined to capture the city of Benares, mounted
on his state elephant and led a mighty host against Benares, and laying siege to
the city, challenged its king by a letter, asking him to fight or yield. The king chose
to fight, and resisted the enemy, guarding the walls and gates, the towers and battle-
ments with a <;;reat host. The hostile king drove his armed state elephant towards
the city, being clad himself in armour and taking a sharp goad in his hand. But at
the sight of the strong defence set up by the king of the city, the elephant did not
venture to come near the place. Thereupon the trainer himself came up, and urged
104 BARHUT
the elephant to have courage to tear up the pillars, beat against the gateway, and
break down the bars. He did what he was told, and thereby forced his way through
and entered the city, winning it for the king.
18. PI. Indian Museum. 9 (26) B [Scene 22 (g)] :-
Blbikanadikata-Suladhasa Asavarikasa danam.
1
"The gift (of a Scene of Trooper) by the trooper
Sulabdha of Bimbikanadikata."
The Scene of Trooper, referred to in the accompanying Votive label, occupies
a half-medallion in the upper portion of a Railing pillar, where we see a good-looking
The flying horse
carnes a
horse, beautifully harnessed in the usual Barhut fashion. The attitude
of the horse's back part shows that he is flying through the air,
carrying a man, who hangs on one side of his tail, and swings
to and fro, his waist tied, as it were, to the tail's root, holding with his left hand
an arrow-shaped object with its head pointed to the sky, and extending his
right hand towards the outer end of the slantingly outstretched tail. On the other
hand, the attitude of the horse's forepart indicates that he has halted on the ground,
as though restrained by a man, who stands in front, keeping the reins before him,
and holding them with his hands, kept wide apart. If this represents a Jataka-scene
at all, there can be little doubt that it presupposes a Buddhist tale similar to the story
of Flying Horse, of which two versions are now extant, one in the Pali Valahassa-
Jataka (F. 96) and one in the Oivyavadana-story of Supriya. In the Pali version
the horse is described as white all over, beaked like a crow, with hair-like mufija
grass, possessed of supernatural power, gifted with the power of human speech, who
flew through the air from Himalaya to an island in or to the south of India, safely
conveying, as an act of mercy, distressed persons wanting to go home. The Supriya-
story in the Divyavadana (pp. 120-121) describes the horse as the very king of his
kind, happy, healthy, strong, with the senses fully developed, and capable of uttering
human speech to the top of his voice, raising the forepart of his body, who
volunteered to do service to mankind on the Sabbath. In the Pali version the horse
himself is the Bodhisat, the merciful hero ; in the Avadana version the hero is
Supriya, the head of the merchants. In the former the horse safely conveys home
two hundred and fifty shipwrecked merchants, including their head, from a goblin
city ; in the latter he conveys only the head merchant. In the former some of the
passengers mount on his back, and some hold by his tail ; in the latter the passenger
is asked to sit on his back, closing his eyes.
105
In the Barhut scene the passenger hangs by the horse's tail. In respect of other
details the illustration agrees with the Avadana-story. The artist has represented the
horse's gift of human speech by the human figure in front.
19. PI. XLIV. 4. [Scene 102] :-In this bas-relief Cunningham notices two
men, one standing and one seated, both of whom are holding an earnest conversa-
tion, to which a woman is listening from a circular hole or opening in
Bodhisat detects his h f f d. h b h k h d f
'f , . t e roo o an a jacent ouse, ot spea mg toget er an en orcmg
Wl e s mtngue.
their arguments with their upraised forefingers. He takes the scene to
be that of the story of Rama, Slta and Lakshmar:ta. This conjecture of his seems to
be due to a misreading of the actions and attitudes of the men and the women. The
bas-relief lays the scene of the story in a homestead, and creates a dramatic situation
by a clever device. There are really not two dwelling houses but only one shown in
two different positions. The homestead thus appears to have consisted of a long
rectangular-shaped dwelling house covered with two roofs butting against each other
and forming a graceful cone. Inside this house, and attached to it, there is another
house with a circular opening, through which a woman is peeping out and calmly
watching the embarrasing situation before her eyes. She is much concerned about
the pitiful condition of a man thrown on the ground, kept bound within a spacious
noose of folded pieces of cloth or ropes, which passes round his loins and upraised
knees. With downcast eyes he is pleading his innocence by referring to the woman
with the forefingers of his two hands directed towards her, before another man who
found him inside the house. The second man, who is undoubtedly the owner of the
house, stands, with his superior dignity and intelligence as a terror before the first man.
He manfully stands with the upper part of his body leaning forward and resting on
his right leg bent at right angles on his toes as is the case with a man walking up a
high place with halting steps. The ring-shaped noose with which the trespasser was
entrapped is held in his left hand, bent at right angles to rest on the front part of his
body, while he is angrily asking the accused to explain his conduct threatening him
with the forefinger of his upraised right hand. His dramatic entry and other details
may be well understood in the light of the Gahapati-Jataka (F. 199).
The Bodhisat was then born, says the Jataka, as a householder's son in the
kingdom of Kasl. When grown up, he married and settled down. His wife was a
wicked woman. She intrigued with the village headman. There broke out a famine
in consequence of a flood that swept over the village. The villagers, including the
Bodhisat, besought in a body the help of their headman, and got from him an old
ox. They promised to pay its price in two months' time. Even nor half a month
27
106 BAR HUT
had passed when, one day, the headman taking advantage of the absence of the
Bodhisat, entered the latter's house. As bad luck would have it, the headman's
prospects of happiness blighted soon into the fear of discomfiture. The Bodhisat
returned in no time by the village gate, setting his face towards home. It was
difficult for the headman to escape. He trembled in terror. The Bodhisat advanced
so far as to reach the threshhold. The wilful woman had her plan ready. She
climbed up into the granary, standing at the door of which she began to cry 'No
corn here' I while the headman standing in the middle of the room, called out
insisting on payment of the price of the meat. The Bodhisat entered the house.
He understood what they were about. He said to the headman :-
"1 like not this, I like not that ; I like not her, I say,
Who stands beside the granary, and cries 'I cannot pay I"
"Nor you, nor you, Sir I listen now : my means and store are small ;
Y. ou gave me once a skinny cow, and two months' grace withal ;
Now, ere the day, you bid me pay ! I like it not at all."
Saying this, he caught hold of the trespasser, dragged him out into the
courtyard, threw him down, and put him to disgrace, casting him ultimately out of
his house. He also befittingly punished the woman and corrected her.
20. PI. XXVII. 9. [Scene 103] :-This medallion-carving on a Rail-bar
presents in the middle a large tree growing in a thicket near a lake. Here the thicket
A woodpecker a is represented in the left half, to the left of the lake and the tree. The
tortoise and tree itself is shown in the upper part as growing by the side of the
from a hunter's trap. lake. A smaller tree is seen growing on the right, at some distance
from the larger tree to the left. The thicket is a grassy woodland where a few
isolated small plants can be seen. The surface of the triangular lake is ruffled with
numerous small ripples, and several large fishes are moving about in the water. At
the top of the larger tree and on its right side there is open and circular nest with
a bird in it. A big antelope stands in the grassy woodland facing the larger tree.
The right hind leg of the animal is tightly bound within the noose of the thong of a
hunter' s trap, carefully laid on the ground a little below to the left. The antelope,
anxious to escape in fear of life, cries out and looks forward for help from the bird,
and the bird in its nest is startled by the unusual cry of the antelope, and it is skil-
fully represented, in the first position, as eagerly listening to the cry to ascertain its
meaning. In its second position we see that the bird, perching on a branch of the
larger tree and coming nearer, is discussing some matters with the antelope. In a
third position the bird appears in the lake below, in two places, as though looking
JAT AKA,SCENES 107
for and calling out some one there. Standing near the lower bank it fails to get
any response. So it goes to the upper corner where a tortoise comes out, lifting
its head above water. The bird is evidently conversing with the tortoise. While
the tortoise has, in its second position, come up with its huge body and is busy
gnawing the thong of the trap, the bird in its fourth position is seen again
on the larger tree, perching in front of the antelope and turning its back upon the
antelope's face. The same bird in its fifth or last position, is seen perching on the
smaller tree, boldly facing the hunter who is advancing with a strong bow in the
left hand and a bundle of arrows in his right. The bird must have gone there to
prevent the hunter coming as a means of allowing the tortoise time enough to
finish its task. Anyhow, the hunter seems to be much annoyed. Cunningham has
correctly identified the scene with the story of the Kurutigamiga-]ataka (F. 206),
the leading features of which are here vividly represented.
The Bodhisat became an antelope, who lived within a forest, in a thicket
near a certain lake. Not far from the same lake was a tree, at the top of which
lived a woodpecker. In the lake itself dwelt a tortoise. These three became
friends, and lived together in amity. A hunter set a strong trap of leather for the
antelope. As he went down into the water to drink in the first watch of the night,
he got caught in the noose. He cried loud and long. Hearing his plaintive cry,
the woodpecker flew down from the tree-top, and the tortoise came out of the
water, and consulted what was to be done. At the advice of the woodpecker, the
tortoise began to gnaw thong, while the bird itself went to watch the hunter coming
out of his dwelling. When at dawn of day the hunter came out, knife in hand,
the bird, uttering a cry and flapping its wings, stmck him in the face. Thinking
this to be a bad omen, the hunter went in to wait till sunrise. In the meantime
the woodpecker flew back to its friends. The tortoise had hardly finished gnawing
through the thong when the hunter appeared on the spot. The antelope, seeing him
coming, fled into the woods, the woodpecker flew away from the tree, while the
tortoise, being tired, lay where it was. The hunter threw it into his bag, and tied it
to a tree. The antelope, desiring to save his friend, appeared before the hunter, at
some distance, pretending to be weak, too weak to run far off. The hunter began to
pursue him, and t ~ antelope, leading him into the forest, gave him the slip, and ran
swift as the wind to rescue the tortoise. He lifted the bag with his horns and letting
the tortoise out, disappeared into the forest, and the tortoise dived into the lake.
I Stapa of Bharhut, pp, 67-68.
108 BARHUT
The sculptured story is a simpler legend with a greater dramatic ending, and in
this, the important part is played by the woodpecker. It is likely that in the story
known to the Barhut sculptor the woodpecker was the Bodhisat, and not the antelope.
21. PI. XL VIII. 4. [Scene 104] :-Dighatapasi si se anusasati.
1
"The venerable ascetic instructs his pupils."
The bas-relief, with the above inscriptional heading, depicts an interesting scene,
where an experienced and venerable hermit or ascetic teacher is imparting instructions
to a class of pupils, only four of whom are actually represented.
Teacher mans a Th h d ( h b d
e great teac er is seate , as unning am o serves, on a raise
class of pup1ls
arrogant and platform, with his long matted hair and scanty clothing."
2
He is
haughty. really seen sitting cross-legged on a skin spread over the elevated
circular seat. His abundant matted hair is graphically fastened in a bushy knot.
He, like other Barhut ascetics, is clad in a garment covering his loins and thighs.
His commanding appearance is coupled with a heavy-built and stout body, which
bears an expression of strength and vigour. With a calm and grave look, he tries
with the upraised forefinger of his right hand, to impress a lesson on the mind of
his pupils, who are sitting side by side in a row, forming a semicircle, beneath
a tree. Cunningham wrongly takes them all to be females, and he has been partly
misled by his imagined reading isise, meaning female rishis. So far as we can make
out, none but one sitting cross-legged near the great ascetic, with ornaments worn
on her arms, combed hair hanging behind and the chain-shaped double belt adorning
her hip, is a female pupil. The remaining three figures, whom we take to be males,
are distinguished by their sitting on their heels and knees, and no less by their
waist-band of rope and hair fastened in knots. Each of these male pupils holds
two small stick-like things in his hands.
They are not looking at one another. Each one of them is looking down-
wards, with his body slightly bent forward, and minding his own business. The
forehead of the student beside the female pupil touches a twig shooting forth from
the trunk of the tree, and it bears on it two small swellings with a deep depression
between them. The significance of this is not easy to ascertain. The tree, too,
cannot be identified. The great ascetic himself has been identified by Cunningham
with the Jaina recluse Dlghatapassi, mentioned in the Buddhist Upali-Sutta
(Majjhima-Nikaya), though he confesses that the Sutta story has no connexion with
1 Barua Sinha, No. 198.
2 St:pa of Bharhut, p. 97.
JAT AKA-SCENES 109
the subject of the Barhut sculpture. If the Sutta account of Dlgnatapassi cannot
explain the main details of the scene, we must look for some other story which can.
But we must disabuse our mind of the fact of Dignatapassi of the label being a
name of the )aina recluse. As our rendering seeks to establish, it is an epithet
signifying that the ascetic of the bas-relicf was a long-experienced, and hence highly
venerated teacher. Now we have a choice between these two Birth-stories, the
Miilapariyaya-)ataka (F. 245) and the Tittira (F. 438), both giving an account of
a far-famed ascetic teacher instructing his pupils. We naturally give preference to
the former in the absence of such important details as the presence of the partridge,
who is the main character in the Tittira-story. The latter story also does not explain
why the famous professor should be found seated beneath a tree. The Mulapariyaya-
story explains this, as well as the tapping mark on the twig that stretches forth
in a horizontal and slightly slanting manner.
This story relates that the Bodhisat was, in one of his births, a far-famed
hermit teacher, who instructed in his hermitage flve hundred pupils in sacred verses
and Vedic lore. His pupils became puffed up with pride. They fancied they knew
as much as their teacher, and there was no difference. They would not even appear
before their teacher, nor do their round of duty. One day, they saw their master
seated beneath a jujube tree. They thought it was the flne occasion to mock at him.
They tapped upon the tree with their flngers, remarkini'l it was hollow within and
good for nothing. The wise teacher understood what they meant. He took the
situation calmly. To tame them, he put to them a problem, which they at flrst
thought was easy to solve, that its solution was in their Vedas. He even gave
them seven days to think over it. They retired each into his own leaf-hut. But
they were puzzled, they could make neither head nor tail of it. They were thus
humbled down. On the seventh day, they came to their teacher and sat down in
a class, respectfully greeting their master. "Well, ye of auspicious speech", said
the teacher, "have you solved the question ?" "No, we have not," said they.
"Fools are ye", he remarked, rebuking the youths." "Here, my dear children," he
went on, "is the answer. Listen ye all". They listened to and were enlightened and
well advised.
22. PI. XXXIII. 7. [Scene 105] :-This is the small fragment of a medallion-
carving where, as noticed by Cunningham, a monkey who has turned ascetic is seen
sitting on a stool outside his hermitage. Here he flnds a respresentation of the
Ramayanic story of Sugrlva.! There is nothing of the kind. But it is true that
I Stupa of Bharhut, p. 106.
28
110 BARHUT
the cottage is a hermit's leaf-hut, with an enclosure of bamboo-palisade, supporting
a well-thatched dome-shaped roof with one pinnacle. The bamboo-
The monkey in
ascetic garb is detec- posts are nicely bound in rows. The cottage has a door in front,
te:l when on the showing a round plate inside. The plate contains several globular
look out for fire. objects. The monkey in ascetic garb is seated on a small stool
clasping his hands in a shivering mood, wistfully looking towards the door of the
cottage from a corner. A long ladle-like object, or better, a stick with a ring on its
top, is lying close to him. The motive of the monkey's action cannot fully be
ascertained in the absence of other details. Regarding the subject we have a choice
between stories of these three Jatakas-the Tinduka (F. 177), the Makkata (F. 173}
and the Kapi (F. 250). If the cottage was other than a hermitage, we would have
preferred the first. If there was a fan-palm tree, our choice would have fallen on
the second. Although the second and the third are essentially one and the same
story, we prefer the third because it has no reference to the fan-palm tree or to any
such additional detail. The story is as follows :-
During the rainy season, when the heaven poured down heavy showers of rain,
a monkey wandered about, tormented with cold, chattering and rattling his teeth.
He saw a leaf-hut where fire was burning. The fact is that the ascetic fetched a
great log, lit a fire, and lay down upon his pallet, while his son sat by him, chafing
his feet. How to get into the hut ? The monkey feared detection. To appear
in disguise, he procured a dress from a dead anchorite. He clad himself in the upper
and lower garment, threw the skin over one shoulder, took the pole and waterpot,
and in this dress he approached the leaf-hut for the fire. The lad seeing him coming
and taking him to be an ascetic, asked his father to call him inside to warm himself.
The ascetic rose up and looked. He knew it was a monkey. He with a fire-brand
scared away the monkey who left the wood for good. The ascetic was the
Bodhisat, our Wise Being.
23. PI. XLII. 1. [Scene 106] :-This scene occupies a Coping-panel where
Cunningham notices a ~ i s h i or hermit, seated in front of his hut and engaged in
Hermit misses addressing a five-headed snake who is coiled up in front of him.
1
serpent's friendly Not knowing the story forming its subject, he has missed all its
visits for asking for characteristic features. The hermit is not seated in front of his
~ ~ He
cottage, but on one side of it and apparently leaning against it.
appears with ascetic garments and matted hair bound in a particular fashion. He
1 Stiipa of Bharhut, p. 99.
JAT AKA,SCENES Ill
sits cross-legged under a tree and on a log of wood or bundle of sticks, with a
basket placed in front of his cottage which is a four-sided square leaf-hut, covered
by a circular dome-shaped roof, with one pinnacle. The cottage represents a type
of kutagara or one-peaked house. The hermit is asking with his right hand for
something from a five-hooded serpent, with his head lifted up from his coils
and still remaining stationery under another tree to the right. He wears a small
square object on his throat. The close contact of the hermit's limbs with the serpent's
coils indicates their familiarity and friendship. The hermit with his smiling lips is
entreating the serpent who is in a retreating mood. The former must be asking for
somethingJ no doubt, for the square object on the throat, which the latter could not
part with. Dr. Hultzsch is right in suggesting the Maryikarytha-Jataka (F. 253)/ in
preference to the Paryqara (F. 518Y, as furnishing the theme of the artistic illustration.
The Bodhisat was then born into a rich Brahmin family. He had a
younger brother. They became anchorites after their parents' death. The elder
had his hermitage by the upper Ganges, and the younger by the lower river.
A serpent-king, Maryikarytha or Jewel-throat by name, made friendship with the
younger ascetic. He visited his friend's hermitage often and often, and waited
talking and chatting. When he left, he encircled his friend with snaky folds, and
embraced him, with his great hood upon his head, and did not let <30 his friend's
body until his affection was satisfied. From fear of his friend's em brace, the ascetic
grew day by day thin, squalid, emaciated and yellow. "What makes you thin ?"
his elder brother inquired. "The fear of the serpent's embrace." "Do you really
like him to come or not?" "I don't", he replied, without knowing his own mind.
"Does he wear any ornament ?" "Y. es". "What is it ?" "A precious jewel
(maryi)." 'Very well, ask him to give it to you." He promised so to do. The
first day when the serpent entered the hut, before he had time to sit down, the
ascetic asked him for jewel, and he hurried away without embracing him. The
second day as the serpent stood at his door, he again entreated him for the thing.
The serpent slipt off without entering the hut. On the third day, he pressed the
same request just as the serpent was emerging from water, and the latter plunged
beneath the water and went home, never to return. In vain the ascetic craved
for his friend's return and warm affection.
The Barhut scene evidently represents the occurrence of the second day's
meeting. The square object on the serpent's throat is the gem or jewel of the story.
I JRAS, 1912.
2 Buddhist India, p. 209.
112 BARHUT
24. PI. XXV. 2. [Scene 107] :-Naga-jatakam.
1
"Bodhisat' s achievement in elephant-birth."
This is the scene where Cunningham Hnds an elephant and a crab to be the
principal actors. The crab seizes the elephant by the right hind leg. Two other
' elephants appear behind, and there is a pond full of Hshes from which
The great elephant
assisted by his faith- the crab has just issued.
2
Here we see a lake beside a rock leading
ful mate, drags out into the water. The lake, represented in the lower part of the
the monster crab
for its destruction. medallion, presents a few big Hshes moving about, a crane or a swan
swimming in water, and a huge crab emerging out of water, being
dragged by a big elephant and powerful tusker, whose right hind leg it holds tight
in its grip. We see the elephant successfully trying to walk up, dragging
out the giant crab which catches his right hind leg tight in its claw and prevents him
moving up and on. On the left side of the great elephant, a smaller elephant,
evidently a she-elephant, walks down, reaching as far as the lower edge of the rock
to be able to step into the water. Cunningham has rightly pointed out that the
Pali counterpart of the sculptured story bears the title Kakkata-Jataka (F. 267).
That is to say, the ]ataka-Commentary names the Birth-story after the Crab and
not after the Elephant. The Pali story is as follows :-
There was a great lake in Himalaya, where lived a great golden crab. The
crab was very large, as big and round as a threshing floor. lt proved to be a terror to
the elephants whom it caught, and killed and ate, if they happened to come down to
the lake. The Bodhisat who came to life in the Himalaya as an elephant made up his
mind to catch and destroy the monster in the water. He was full of youth, great and
mighty, and looked like a purple mountain of collyrium. With his parents' permission
he proceeded to the Crab Tarn with his mate and a large body of elephants. He
was told that the crab would not catch the elephants as they went down or browsed
there, but just when they came up again. The Bodhisat conceived his plan. He
ordered the other elephants to go down, eat and come up Hrst, saying that he would
follow last behind them. As the Bodhisat, going down, was coming up last, the
monster caught his feet tight in his claw, like a smith seizing a lump of iron in a
pair of tongs. His mate did not leave him, but stood there close by him. He
pulled the crab, but could not make him budge. The crab, pulled drawing him
towards itself. In deadly terror all the other elephants ran off trumpeting and dropp-
ing excrement. Even his mate could not stand, but began to make off. In response
I Barua Sinha, No. 199.
2 Stupa of Bharhut, pp. 52-53.
JAT AKA-SCENES 113
to a loud appeal of lovz which he made to her, s ~ turned round, resolving not to
leave him and to do all that she could to rescue him. She went down to the water
and talked to the crab, flattering it, saying that of all the crabs in the world it was the
best and chief. The sound of the female voice caught its fancy. The crab unwittingly
loosened its claws from the elephar.t' s leg, and the elephant, lifting his feet, stepped
upon the crab's back. Its eyes started out. He shouted the joy-cry. The other
elephants came back all, pulled the crab along, set it upon the ground, and trampled
it under their feet.
The Barhut sculptor has, by a single device, sought to represent the Bodhisat' s
mate and the procession of the elephants, going down into the lake.
25. PJ. XLIII. 4. [Scene 108] :-Miga-samadaka chetaya.
1
"The shrine in a woodland where the deer were eaten."
In the middle of the bas-relief, says Cunningham, there is a tree, which must
The tree-spir:ts lose be thz chaitya mentioned in the label, while seated around are
abo.:les for their two lions and six deer iiving most amicably together.
hasty action. It is difficult to ascertain whether the two uplifted animal heads to
the left of the six deer around the tree in the middle of the scene are those of two
lions, or of two tigers, or of a lion and a tiger. But it seems certain that the sculpture
depicts a scene of the Vyag5ha-Jataka (F. 272) narrating how the tree-spirits
had to suffer for driving away the tigers from a woodland.
The Bodhisat was once born as a tree-spirit in a grassy woodland. Not
far away was a flowerless big tree (vanashpati), where another spirit took his
abode. There the lions and the tigers lived, killing and devouring the deer, who
found there a pleasant grazing ground. In fear of the lions and the tigers men
did not venture to enter the woodland. But it became so full of offensive smell
that it was unfit for a spirit to dwell in. Seeing that the lions and the tigers were
the cause of such a state of things, the spirit living afar conceived a plan to drive
them away and actually did so in spite of the Budhisat' s wise counsel that such
a hasty step should not be taken, as that would ultimately serve to drive
themselves away. Now as the woodland was no longer visited by the lions and
the tigers, men came in a body to cut down the trees and clear the jungles with
the result that the abodes of the tree-spirits themselves lay open to danger. The
spirit who acted so rashly tried to avert the dan'5er by bringing back the lions
I Barua Si:1ha, No. 2C:O.
2 The Sr;:;pa of Barhut, p. 94.
29
114 BAR HUT
and the tigers who flatly declined to return. Within a few days the trees were cut
down and the jungles cleared up, compelling the spirits to shift elsewhere. Here
closes the commentary or later prose version of the story. The supplication
of the spirit asking the animals driven away to come back is embodied in a verse,
quoted from the Canonical Jataka-Book. The verse itself contains no reference to
the lions.
1
In all likelihood, the sculpture follows a prose-version.
26. PI. XXVII. 10. [Scene 109] :-In this scene Cunningham sees only
three actors a humped bull standing in a pond of water, and two wolves, one of
which is seated on the bank of the pond, while the other has been
The wolf fails to
seize the bull. caught in a snare and is hanging by one of the hind legs from the
top of a pole. The animals are wolves, and not ti-gers, as the one seated on the bank
seems to be afraid of entering the water, which is a trait of a wolf, and not of a
tiger, who takes to the water freely. The shortness of their tails is also in favour
of this identification. The snare represented is one well-known in India, where it is
used for catching any large beasts of prey including tigers.
2
Whether the wolves are one or two is a crucial point. Apparently they are
two, one, standing upon a high ground, draws together the four legs as though
preparing to jump upon a mighty bull, who stands manfully with his long and well-
shaped horns, facing him, near the rock, on d marshy ground, covered over with
lotus-shrubs, and the other hanging, his head downward, being caught in a snare, from
a noose tied to the bent top of a standing post. The subject of the scene is
identified by Mr. Rama Prasad Chanda with the Vrishabha-Jataka of the Mahavastu.
3
But the story is so badly told in the Mahavastu that nothing can be definitely made
out of it. The Bodhisat was then a bull, who lived in a forest-region. He was
strong, powerful, and armed with the well-formed big horns. A girikasrigala or
wolfish jackal followed him, his body trembling in fear. Another jackal, a comrade
of his, remarked that in vain he followed the bull for a long time without being
able to do him any harm. The Mahavastu-story well accounts for the presence
of the bull and two wolves of wolfish jackals, but it does not explain why one of the
wolves is hanging down, being caught in a snare, from the top of a pole, or why
the bull is standing in water, on a marshy ground, covered over with lotus-shrubs.
I Fausboll's Jataka. 11, p. 358 :-
Etha vyagg'Ja nivattav'zo paccametha mahavanam,
2 Stapa of Barhut p. 69.
3 Mahavastu, Ill.
JATAKA,SCENES I 15
Let us examine how far the details of the scene square with the Pali V aka- Jataka
(F. 300), containing the following story :-
The Bodhisat then came to life as Sakra, king of the gods. At that time a
wolf lived on a rock by the bank of the Ganges. The winter-floods came
up, surrounding the rock. The wolf lay upon the rock, with no food and no way
of getting it. As water rose higher and higher, the wolf pondered : "Here I lie,
with nothing to do. I may as well keep a sabbath feast." Thus he made up his
mind to observe the fast and keep the religious precepts. Sakra, in order to test
him, assumed the shape of a wild goat, and stood near, letting the wolf see him.
"Let go the sabbath this time" I thought the wolf, as he espied the goat. Up he
got, and leapt at the cn::ature. The goat jumped about so that the wolf could not
catch him. The wolf saw that he could not catch him. He came to a standstill, and
went back, thinking to himself as h(: lay down again, "Well, the sabbath is not
broken after all !"
This story accounts for the presence of the high ground, wolf standing upon
it. lt makes no difference if a bull be substituted for the goat. The point that
remains unexplained as the hanging of the same wolf or of a second wolf from the
top of a pole, caught in a pendent noose (va!a-saf!1ghata-yanta). We must necessarily
presume a different version of the V aka or the Yrishabha-Jataka, in which the wolf
was decoyed into a spot, where, as the bull knew, a hunter laid a snare.
27. [Missing] :-Dusito giri dadati na.
1
The Jataka-scene to which this inscription referred is missing. The inscription
Queen reaJ we:! her itself admits of a twofold rendering according as the first word
husband's f.:eltng be read dusita or dukhita. Essentially the meaning is the same.
when she a< ked him Th h b b d
c text seems to ave een ase upon some expressions in
to offer her the ht!\
of gold, if he found the Suchchaja-}ataka (F. 320) in which the good queen of Benares
any, and was fl;t\y is said to have taken her husband's indifference to her to be
refus2d.
a foregone conclusion as he had refused to share with her the hill of
gold, if he had chanced upon any, even by a word of mouth, when she accompanied
him into the forest where he was bound to go by command of his father, the
reigning king, in order that he as crown-prince might not have caused trouble.
28. PI. XLI. 1. 3. [Scene Ill.] :-These two scenes evidently complete each
I Barua Sinha No. 20 I.
116 BARHUT
other. On the left side of the first scene Cunningham sees an ascetic approaching
a fuil-grown ram, who has already begun to incline his head down-
wards as if intending to butt. The ascetic is carrying two basket-
foolish mendicant's like bowls slung from the ends of a banghi pole
1
He is typically
fate.
a kharlbhara-pariviajaka. He is clad in a thick raiment tightly
Ram's respectful
salutation and
covering up his loins and thighs. A man (Cunningham's shepherd) on the
right, at some distance, is warning the ascetic not to trust the beast, and he has a
dignified appearance a Bodhisat. The second scene leads us to think that
the foolish ascetic, heedless of the wise man's words, stood on the spot and the
result was disastrous. He is now seen kneeling down on the ground, with his right
knee raised to receive the ram's butt, his ban-g hi load lying behind him, while the
wise man is telling him, with his forefinger raised, that the fate he met was due to
his foolish expectation from a beast. The story thus sculptured has rightly been
identified by Professor Rhys Davids and others with the Chammasataka-Jataka
(F. 324 ), narrating how an ascetic came to sore regret on being rudely handled by
a ram whose butting he mistook for an act of salutation. The Bodhisat was in
one of his births a trader before whose shop was the rams' fighting ground. One
day a wandering mendicant, clad in a skin-garment, in going his round for alms,
came there. He was a kharibhara, carrying as he did his load of bowls by means
of a banghi pole. As he came near a ram, he saw the beast falling back before
him. He fancied the beast did this to show him respect. He thought the ram
alone in the whole world recognised his worth. In spite of the timely warning from
the Bodhisat who was then sitting in his shop, he still stood there with Joined
hands in respectful salutation to the beast, in expectation of the same in return.
He was well repaid. The ram came at full speed. He struck him on the thigh
and knocked him down. The Bodhisat ran out to his rescue. He was then mad-
dened with pain, his leg was broken, his load was upset, his fortune was damaged,
his pain became unbearable. He lamented as he explained how by showing respect
to an unworthy fellow and expecting the same in return, he came to grief.
According to this Birth-story, the ascetic ought to have been standing with
joined hands and the Bodhisat sitting in his shop in the first scene. The Barhut
sculptures, as contrasted with the Commentary-version of the Birth-story, seem to
have been designed to illustrate the moral that the ascetic rather met his fate not
so much by showing honour to as expecting respect from a beast.
I Stupa of Barhut, p. 99.
JA T K ~ S C E N E S 117
29. PI. XIV. S. Gate. Prasenajit Pilfer. Middle Bas-Relief. Side-
[Scene 112] :-Kaqariki
1
"KaQ<Jari and Ki [ nnara]."
This scene, with the above incomplete heading, presents a man and a woman
quietly standing beside each other, the woman being placed on the left hand of
the man. One can see an earring on her left ear, while her
Episode of Kandari h h h Sh f h h h d
cl
,_. _ ng t ear s ows no sue ornament. e paces er ng t an on
an r-..mnara.
the left shoulder of the man, and holds in her upraised left hand a
bird looking like a pigeon
2
He holds in his left hand a bird looking like a hawk.
He holds in his right hand a small object between his fingers, and one need not be
surprised if it is an earring. She holds a pigeon or dove, and he holds a hawk on
his breast. What can be the meaning of this ? Does it not mean that like a hawk
he swooped upon her turtle-heart given away to another man ? The Buddhist story
of KaQ<Jari and Kinnara contained in the Kul)ala-Jataka (f. 523 ), and also counted
as a separate Jataka (F. 341), shows that its meaning is nothing but this.
There was a king of Benares named Kal)qari. He was a very handsome
man. His wife Kinnara was a lovely woman. He was so fond and proud of her
that he could not imagine that she could think of any other man in the world. But
she fell in love with an ugly and deformed cripple, who dwelt under a rose-apple
tree that grew near the king's palace. The Bodhisat was then his chaplain, Paiichala-
chaQ<Ja by name. One day the queen was very late in coming to meet the cripple
at night. He being angry struck her, which caused one of her 'lion's head ear-orna
ments to fall from her ear. As advised by his chaplain, the king closely followed her.
The ornament fell upon his feet. They did not know that he was there in the shade
of the rose-apple tree, their usual meeting place. He came back to his bed-chamber
taking the ornament with him. He did not disturb her during the night, when she
returned The next day he ordered her to come into his presence wearing every
ornament he gave her. She refused to come, excusing herself that her lion's head
jewel was with the goldsmith. He sent another message asking her to come with the
single ear-ornament. She came in. "Where is your other earring ?" he asked.
"With the goldsmith," she replied. The goldsmith was immediately sent for. He said
he had not had it. The king being enraged, threw the picked up earring down before
1 Barua Sinh3., No, 202.
2 Divyavadana, p. 300 : In Buddhist art, the figure of tl,e p1geon is an emblem of passion (rago bpotakareQJ.
kartavyah.
30
118 BAR HUT
her and bade her The vileness of the woman was no longer a secret to him, and
he found no words to praise his wise chaplain.
The Barhut artist may be congratulated for his skilful execution of the details.
By the symbols of the hawk and the pigeon he has Sll'5'5ested the nature of the affair.
30. PI. XLIV. 6 [Scene 113] :-This bas-relief depicts a Jataka-scene
wrongly identified by Cunningham with the well-known Buddhist story of the buildin<5
of the city of Kapilavastu, named after the sage Kapila, who gave up
_A.sceric tesrbs h his residence to the four exiled ikshvaku princes who appeared before
mnocence y oat s.
him. Cunningham's description of the bas-relief is far from bein<5
perfect and accurate. lt takes note of a sage seated with his right shoulder bare,
and his long hair twisted and coiled into a massive jata behind his head in the
usual manner of an ascetic, while four princes stand and kneel before him with their
hands joined in an attitude of respect.
1
At the left extremity of the panel there is to be seen behind an ascetic, a
small tree with fruits grown in abundance. The ascetic is seated cross-legged at
the foot of this tree keeping his kamanqalu to his right. Close to the
kamal)qalu and just in front of it, there is a basketful of fruits apparently
from the tree behind the ascetic. He is in his hands and on
soles of his feet turned upwards a small pot-like object, which appears to be
an earthen lamp with flames uniformly rising up, forming a gradually widened circular
zone, while with the two fingers of his right hand, pointed towards the flames of
the lamp, he seems to draw attention of four persons before him, all with joined hands
placed towards him, two in front standing and two behind sitting cross-legged. The
action of these four men does not seem to be mere showing respect to the ascetic.
They appear to perform some solemn act before fire, perhaps as a means of absolving
them from charges of iniquity brought against them with reference to the fruits of
the tree. If these conjectures be correct, the details of the scene can be explained
in the light of the Commentary-version of the Ambachora-Jataka (F. 344) which is
narrated below :-
There was a tricky ascetic (kuta-jatila) who lived in a leaf-hut built in a
mango-grove on a river bank r.ear Beilares. He kept watch over the mangoes,
-the ripe fruits that fell from the mango-trees, occasionally sharing the fruits with
his kinsfolk. He gained his livelihood by various false practices quite unworthy of
a man of ascetic vow. In order to chastise him, the Bodhisat, then born as Sakra,
I Stupa of Bharhut, p. 191.
JAT AKA-SCENES
119
knocked down the mangoes when the ascetic went to village for alms, and so
created a situation by his supernatural power as to make the orchard appear as if
it were plundered by thieves. lt so happened that at this inopportune moment,
four daughters of a merchant came to the orchard, whom the ascetic, on his return,
met on the spot and suspecting them to be the wrong-doer, openly accused them
of theft. They frankly declined it, but he would not believe them. He had not
allowed them to leave the hermitage until they were able to prove their innocence,
taking separately an oath, which none but an innocent individual could venture to
take. Next came the turn of the Sakra to appear before the ascetic in a terrible
form and drive him away from the place.
The bas-relief omits altogether Sakra' s part in the story. The scene actually
depicted is that of oath-taking by four persons who ought to have been represented
as women according to the story. That Barhut sculptor has had evidently followed a
different version of the story in which the oaths were taken by men instead of
women. The representation of four persons as males may as well have been due
to the sculptor's oversight.
31. PI. Indian Museum. Bharhut Gallery. 29 (2) b[Scene 22 (3) ]:-
This curious bas-relief, carved, apparently with a decorative motive, in a half-
F,ght betw.;en medallion at the top of a Railin-pillar, represents a scene, where
elephant and an elephant madly runs at full speed towards a tree, trampling a tor-
tortoises. toise on the way and crushing the creature under his feet. His gaping
mouth, panting breath, out-stretched tail, falling dung, galioping strides and bodily
movements are expressive of the quick motion. The tree and the elephant are
approached by another tortoise from the opposite side, the creature moving at
full speed and dashing on. Here the second tortoise seems to have provoked the
dephant to such an extent that the latter, of what was across his path,
dashed forward only to dash his head aga;nst the tree and break and shatter it.
This tortoise must be the Bodhisat, w:ser of the two creatures, who succeeded in
defeating and destroying the elephant by his tact, '-' hilc the other was trampled and
crushed. His wisdom lay in fighting uid-:r the .:over of a tree, and the folly of
creature in scttin5 an op..::n Bght. The Barhut scene is based upon a
Buddhist story, different in character from stocy of flght between an elephant
and a tortoise whi.:h h:1s cl<<ssi.:al through the
Brahmanical collections of fables. Unfortunately, i.he Buddhist story cannot
be traced in the existing Buddhist literature. V/ e wonder if this was the
earlier form of the Gaja-Kumbha, or better, Gaja-Kumma-]<itaka (F. 345)
120
BAR HUT
illustrating the following double moral by the fate of two tortoises in a fight with an
elephant :
"Whose doth hurry when ought to rest,
And tarries long when utmost speed is best,
Destroys the slender fabric of his weal,
As withered leaf is crushed beneath the heel.
But they who wait betimes nor haste too soon,
Fulfil their purpose, as her orb the moon.'
The Commentary form of the Jataka is not quite suited to this moral.
32. PI. XLVII. 3 [Scene 114] :-Sujato gahuto Jataka.
1
"The Bodhisat' s birth as Sujata, the cow-feeder."
The has-relief with the above label offers no difflculty of interpretation or
identification. lt presents on the left a well-drawn humped bull on the ground. A
Bodhisat invokes
a dead cow to eat
grass.
young man, with his long hair combed behind, is sitting on his left
heel and leg, before the bull, maintaining his balance by holding
his left knee with his left hand and keeping his right leg erect at a
right angle with his thigh. He holds up to the mouth of the bull,
a bunch of grass or fodder in his right hand stretched out in front. He is
engaged in the act of feeding the bull which appears as if it is alive.
According to the label, he is no other than Sujata, the cow-feeder. One elderly
man stands behind him, placing his left hand accross his breast and his right hand on
Sujata' s head, and enquiring what the young man was about. Cunningham has
rightly identified the scene with Sujata' s story in the Sujata-Jataka (F. 352)
2
, though
we cannot agree with him when he says that this Birth-story substitutes a buffalo
for the bull or ox. lt expressly refers to the beast as an ox. The Sujata-story
impresses this moral by the argument of the familiar popular maxim-'a dead cow
does not eat grass'.
Sujata was a Bodhisat. His father, it is said, became afflicted with sorrow
from the day of his father's death. He deposited the old man's bodily remains in
a stiipa or mound of earth, which he erected in his garden. Whenever he visited
this place, he adorned the mound with flowers and bitterly lamented, neglecting his
business and even forgetting the need of bathing and eating. Determined to cure
him of his inordinate grief, his son Sujata went outside the city of Benares, and
1 Barua Sinha, No 203.
2 Stupa of Bherhut, pp. 76-J7.
JATAKASCENES 121
seeing a dead ox, began to ask it repeatedly to eat and drink the grass and water
he procured for it. People informed this to his father who was then lamenting
over his grand sire's ashes. "What's the fellow doing ! I must stop it at once."
Thus he ceased to grieve for his father and began to grieve for his son. "My dear
Sujata, my son, are you so thoughtless as to believe your feeding can raise to life
this ox which is dead I Can a carcass eat grass or drink water ?" "Father, I am
thoughtless indeed. But if this dead ox, though its body still exists, cannot come
back to life, why then so much weeping over the ashes of one whose body has
been consumed by fire. I" Now he saw what his son meant. He abandoned his
grief. He acknowledged Sujata' s wisdom.
33. [Missing] : Na<;lodapade dhenachhako.
1
:-
"Trim-boughed banian tree at the foot of Mt. Naqoda ?"
The Jataka-scene to which this inscription was attached is missing. The
Scene of cold-Slood- inscription itself seems to have referred to a trim-boughed banian
ed murder of captive tree mentioned in the Dhonasakha-Jataka (F. 353) in which the
kings under the hi k f .d
shade of a banian rut ess ing o Benares is sat to have killed in cold blood one
tree. thousand kings whom he took captives under this sacred tree, being
killed in turn by a Yaksha.
34. PI. XL VII. 1 [Scene 1161 :-Daqanikamo chakamo.
2
"The walk wherefrom escape is difficult."
Cunningham observes in this curious scene an altar or throne occupying the
No weeping for the middle place, behind which are four lions with gaping mouths, and
dear one whose dead on the right five men standing in front of a sixth who sits on the
body is being burnt ' '
in a crematton- ground to the left in a contemplative attitude, with his head leaning
ground. on his left hand, while in the front are two gigantic human heads
with a human hand between them and towards the throne or altar a bundle ot faggots
burning. He conjectures that this scene represents one of the 16 Buddhist hells, or
places of punishment.
3
We take it that the scene is not that of a Buddhist hell, but that of burning
or cremation. The faggots burning represent a funeral pyre, while two human heads
with hideous looks are symbols representing two ogres, or more accurately, one
I Barua Sinha, No. 204.
2 Barua Sinha, No. 205.
3 The Stnpa of Bharhut, p. 04.
31
122 BAR HUT
ogre eating a dead body, of which only the head is left yet untouched. Thus the
place is a smasana used both as a cremation ground,
1
where dead bodies were
burnt and as a 'charnel-fleld/ where dead bodies were thrown away unburnt. On one
side of burning faggots we see a cobra-like snake turning back towards it, and on
the other side of it, a youngman lying as though dead on the ground. If these
conjectures are sound, the scene can be rendered intelligible and the ramaining figures
explained by the Pali Uraga- jataka (F. 354).3 The story as narrated in Fausboll' s
edition of the Jataka-Commentary, the may be summarised as
follows:-
The Bodhisat was at the time a Brahmin. who lived happily in a village,
near Benares, with his wife, son, daughter-in-law and two daughters. One day,
he went with his son to work in his plough-land. While his son was burning the
weeds heaped up in one place, he was bitten by a poisonous snake, and died then
and there. The Bodhisat did neither cry nor lament, although this mishap occurred
before his eyes, knowing such was an inevitable end of the body. When the news
reached the female members of his house, none of them wept. The dead body
was duly carried to the cremation-ground and consigned to flre. lt was a great
wonder that while the body was being cremated, none of the Bodhisat' s family,
including himself, was seen to shed tear. This wonderful power of self-
restraint made the throne of Sakra glow. Forthwith Sakra, king of the gods, came
down to the cremation ground, and after uttering the lion's roar stood on one
side. He interrogated the Bodhisat and the four female members of his family,
asking each of them to tell him why it was that they had not wept. lt is said that
the replies received from them satisfied Sakra, who was so pleased with their attitude
that he Riled their house with riches beyond measure, and departed. Here the
story ends.
We can well understand that the flve human figures to the right of the funeral
pyre are the flve members of the Bodhisat' s family, including himself. The human
figure to the left is Sakra, while the four lions with gaping mouths behind the altar
symbolise the lions' roar preceding Sakra' s appearance. The man standing just
opposite Sakra is the Bodhisat, behind him stands his wife, the figure behind her
is his daughter-in-law, and two human figures behind the altar in the same line
I dagdha-chita, alahana or adahana,
2 anagnidagdha-chita, sivathika, amaka-susana.
3 The Canonical or poetic version of the story is contained in the Petava.tthu. See Uraga-Peta-vatthu.
JAT AKA-SCENES
123
with the lions, are his two
1
The altar is as a protection
of flre against the wind and signifies symbolically, as explained in a Vedic hymn, a
dividing line between the living and the dead. The correctness of the identification
cannot at all be doubted when both the snake and the young man bitten by it are
distinctly represented. But we must note that here the sculptor has used the same
device of a bundle of burning faggots to serve a double purpose, namely, to
represent (1) the burning of piled up weeds by the Brahmin's son, and (2) the burning
of his dead body on a funeral pyre.
35. PI. XXVI. 5 [Scene 117] :-Latuva-]atakarh.
2

'Jataka-episode of a quail."
This medallion presents a rocky mountain with a tree growing on one side.
In the lower left corner is a bird' s nest, and inside the nest is a young bird, yet too
The resourceful young to fly. The nest is partly broken. There were probably
quail teaches a more birds than one when the nest was complete. In the lower
tragic lesson to the phase we see a herd of elephants cautiously moving forward, follow-
roguish elephant
that crushed young ing the footsteps of the leader, along a track down the hill and
birds with impunity. below the tree. In the upper phase the young birds are about to
be crushed by an isolated elephant beneath his feet. The young birds are shown just
beneath the right leg of the beast. The elephant rushes forward trumpeting
along a track up the hill, leading to a precipice. A quail, the latuva of the inscription,
perches on a branch of the tree, and watches the elephant walking up the hilL A
crow sitting on the head of the elephant, is pecking out the beast's left eye after
out his right. A cataract-like thing lies across the pecked out right eye, while
a frog is seated on the top of a rock in front of the elephant, and at some distance.
The second position on the right shows that the elephant has fallen headlong down
the rocky cliff, to the great joy of the quail whose young ones he trampled and crushed
down. Cunningham has rightly remarked that here is a close agreement between
the scenes of the Barhut sculpture and the Pali version of the legend, and these are
the six points noticed by him : (I) the bird' s nest with the young ones lying on the
ground beneath the elephant's foot ; (2) the bird sitting on the tree and brooding
over the misdeed ; (3) the attack of the crow and the flesh-tly, the former on the
I The only serious objection that can be raised IS that all th.e human wear turbans, wloich, according to
the general Barhut convention, is the characteristiC of males. But th1s may be due to the sculptor's oversight,
or there may have bee.1 some very special reason for providing even the female figures With a headgear in
the shape of turbans. Such instances, though rare, are not fewer than half-a-dozen.
2 Barua Sinha, No. 206.
124 BAR HUT
elephant's head and the latter on his eye ; ( 4) the elephant running away frightened
with his tail between his legs ; (5) the frog seated on the rocky mount ; and (6) the
fall of the elephant down the rocky cliff.
1
By the Pali version of the legend he
means the story of the Latukika-Jataka (F. 357), in the Panchatantra version of which
a pair of sparrows (chataka) is the principal actors. The Buddhist story relates :-
The Bodhisat was then born as an elephant. He became the leader of a herd
consisting of 80,000 elephants, and dwelt in the Himalayas. A quail laid her eggs on
the feeding-ground of the elephants. Her young ones were still unable to fly when
the Bodhisat with his attendant herd, in ranging about for food, came to this spot.
The bird implored his righteous protection for the defence of her brood. The
Bodhisat himself and his followers cautiously passed off without doing any harm to
the young birds. Behind them came a solitary roguish elephant. The quail also
sought his protection, paying him homage uplifting her wings. In spite of her pathetic
appeal, he crushed the young birds to atoms and went out loudly trumpeting. The
quail sitting down on a bough of a tree, brooded over the atrocious crime
committed by the elephant. She making up her mind to teach him a lesson, went
first to a crow who happened to be a friend of hers, and asked to peck out the eyes
of the beast by striking with his beak. Next she went to a blue fly whom she
asked to drop its eggs upon the eyes put out by the crow. Last of all, she saw a
frog whom she asked to take his stand and croak on the top of the mountain
to attract the blind elephant thither to seek for water to drink, and then to come
down to croak again at the bottom of the precipice to make him fall down the rocky
cliff. One day the crow pecked out both the eyes of the elephant the fly dropped
its eggs upon them and the elephant being maddened by the pain and overcome with
thirst, wandered about seeking for water to drink. The frog standing on the top
of a mountain uttered a croak. The elephant climbed up the mountain thinking he
might find water there. Then the frog descending to the bottom, croaked. The
elephant moved forward towards the precipice, and rolling over, fell to the bottom of
the mountain and died again. When the tragic act was enacted, the quail with
delightful heart strutted over that elephant's body.
36. PI. XLIII. 8 [Scene 118] :-In this scene Cunningham finds three actors,
The hermit laments a ~ i s h i , a hunter or shepherd, and an antelope in a forest near
over the death of the ~ i s h i s hermitage., The antelope is lying down with its head
his pet deer and the
Bodhisat remon- stretched out and resting on the ground, apparently as if bound,
strates with him. while the ~ i s h i is about to drive knife into the back of its neck. The
I Stupa of Bharhut, pp. 59.
JAT AKA-SCENES 125
hunter, or whoever the other figure may be, has both his forefingers raised as
if expostulating with the ascetic, who from his dress, appears to be a fire
worshipper.
1
We find that the main action of the scene is shown outside the hermit's
cottage which represents a distinct type of one-peaked house, covered by a four
blocked-vaulted roof. The hermit himself stands on the right side of his cottage
leaning forward over a young deer. Although the deer is lying down on his four
legs, no one can mistake, observing how his head rests helplessly on the ground and
how dim are his eyes, that he is a dead animal. The hermit apparently laments over
the death of his pet deer, grasping his right horn with his right hand. He is clad in
a garment of birch bark and has his matted hair bound up into a knot in one of the
Barhut fashions. A second man with bright appearance and superior dignity stands
before him on the right, expostulating, no doubt, with him, and apparently reprimanding
him for his folly and inordinate grief. In the upper side of the panel there are two
trees, the presence of which adds much charm to the scene. We must welcome Dr.
Hultzsch' s suggestion as to the identification of the scene with the story of the
Migapotaka-Jataka (F. 372), narrating how the wise Bodhisat admonished a hermit
against excessive grief at the loss of his pet deer. The story is as follows :-
A hermit found in the forest a young deer who had lost his dam. He took him
to his hermitage. The deer who grew up a handsome and comely beast under
his fatherly care died one day of indigestion from a surfeit of grass. The hermit
began to lament as if he had lost his own son. The Bodhisat who was then
born as Sakra, king of heaven, came down to admonish the hermit. He taking his
stand in the air, took the hermit to task and ultimately cured him of his madness in
weeping like a child for a cause like this.
37 PI. XLVII. 5. [Scene 119] :-Viqala-}ataka Kukuta-}ataka.
2
"The }ataka-episode of the Cat and the Cock".
The inscription clearly indicates that the bas-relief illustrates a Jataka-scene
where a cat and a cock are the two actors. The cat, as noticed by Cunningham, is
looking up at the cock seated in a tree on the left. They are
The cock baffies the 'd tJ h h h C h h h h
, ev1 en y conversmg Wit eac ot er. unnmg am as, wit t e
cat s attempt to
deceive. friendly aid of Revd. Subhuti, rightly identified the scene with the
story of the Kukkuta-}ataka (F. 383), which may be taken as an
I StOpa of Bharhut, p. I 0 I.
2 Barua Sinha, No. 207.
32
126 BARHUT
Indian prototype of the story of the Dog, the Cock and the fox in Asop' s
fables.
The Bodhisat was once born as a cock, who dwelt in the forest with a large
number of followers. Not far away lived a she-cat who cleverly deceived, killed
and ate all the cocks but the Bodhisat. Determined at last to catch hold of him
the she-cat planned a device. Seeing the wise cock on a tree, she went to its foot
and tried to cajole him by offering herself to be his wife. "Beasts and birds can never
marry," the cock remarked, to get rid of her, "thou must sue some other husband."
The pleadings of the cat were all in vain. "After killing all my kinsfolk, thou
pleasest me with courtesy." Thus he baffled her plan and she went away
disappointed.
38. PI. XLI. 5 [Scene 120] :-This bas-relief represents, according to
Cunningham, one man and one woman in a standing posture beside a house. They are
Needle-hawking to engaged in earnest conversation, while another man is seated behind
win the hand of the house. He finds nothing in it indicating the nature of the story,
headsmith's though he suspects that the seated figure is Rama and the other two
daughter.
are Sita and Lakshmarya.
1
lt is difficult to relish Cunningham' s bias for the story of Rama, Slta and
Lakshmarya without overtaxing our patience. The scene really shows a man seated
inside a homestead consisting of a house or houses provided with thatched roof of
two blocks, joined together in such a manner that these form with the upper edge of
each side-wall a semi-circle with a small window in the middle. The man inside is
sitting on a seat that looks like a stool, wherefrom he hangs down his legs, placed
towards the entrance of the outer house in his front. The fore-finger of his right
hand is pointed to an outward direction and his general attitude clearly indicates that
he is eagerly overhearing the conversation of a woman and a man outside. The
woman stands close to the house, keeping it behind her back. She is apparently
discussing some matter with a man whose gait shows as if he has halted on coming
from outside. He carries in his left hand, placed on his left breast, a small bundle in
a case or wrapper of cloth raised towards his neck. He lifting up his right hand and
upraising his forefinger, is trying to explain something to the woman before him.
If these observations be sound, it is not at all unnatural to think that here we
have a representation of the story of the Suchi-Jataka (f. 387)
2
, narrating how
I Sti:ipa of Barhut, p. 99.
2 Cf. Mahavastu 11. pp. 87-89 Amata-karmaraduta Jataka.
127
a skilled young smith managed to marry the handsome daughter of the head smith
by a successful demonstration of some marvellous needle made by him.
The Bodhisat was then born, says the Jataka, in a smith's family. He was
a clever craftsman. His parents were poor. But he wanted to win the hand of
a rich man's daughter in his caste. Her father was the head smith of a neighbouring
village, and her beauty was praised by all her castemen who saw her. How to
make her his wife, poor that the young smith was ? He devised the means. He
made the delicate strong needle which pierced dice and floated in water. He made
a suitable sheath for it, and enclosed this one sheath within six other sheathes of the
same pattern. Now putting the sheath-encased needle in a tube and placing it in a
wrapper, he went to sell it in the village where the head smith lived. In consum-
mation of his hawking errand, he came up to the street near the head smith's house,
standing at the door of which he cried for a buyer, describing the needle and praising
it. His sweet voice captivated the heart of the head smith's daughter, who was at
the time fanning her father with a palm-leaf as he lay on a little bed to allay
discomfort after his early meal. She was impelled to come out and speak with
him outside, standing in the verandah or under the eaves, as one may say. "Is it
not folly", she said, "that you wish to sell needles in a village of smiths ? However
praise you may declare of your needle all day, who will take it from your hand ?
If you wish to get a price, why don't you go to another village?" The young
smith intelligently replied and said :
"Lady, if once your father know
This needle made by me ;
On me your hand he would bestow
And all his property".
His words were not uttered in vain. The head smith hearing all their talk,
called them into his presence. He and other smiths who were shown the needle,
could not help admiring the young smith's skill in invention. The reward followed,
the most coveted one, the hand of the fair lady he loved.
The Barhut scene represents only the central and dramatic episode of this
Jataka.
39. PI. XLVI. 2. [Scene 121] :-Uda-Jataka [th]
1

"The otter in a Jataka-Scene."
Here Cunningham notices a seated on the ground with his water bowl
I Barua Smha, No. 208.
128 BARHUT
and a basket of food near him, before him a pool of water stocked with flsh, on the
bank of which a pair of cats are quarrelling over the head and tail
Two otters quarrel n b d h d f ll ff h
of a nsh, and eyon t em two OC'IS, one trottino J. oy u y o wit a
over the shares of a
0 0
red fish only to part bone, and the other sitting down disappointed, with his back turned
with the lion's share to his luckier rivaJ.I
which goes to a
clever jackal. We indeed see a hermit seated in his hermitage, at the foot of
a tree, a seat of antelope-skin, spread on the ground. The hermitage
shows behind the hermit a cluster of banana or plantain trees in flower and
three other trees, while a river or a lake in front. The hermit sits partly cross-
legged, facing the waters, placing his right hand on the knee of his left leg
drawn towards him, holding the handle of a water-jug with his left hand, and
keeping a basket of fruits beyond his kamaryqalu in front. He sits in a reflective
mood, as if moralising upon the strange incident which happened before his eyes.
What is this strange occurrence ? There is a river or a lake with three big flshes
moving about in it, and two otters are seen quarrelling on its bank over the shares of
one of the flshes caught by them, dragged up, and placed lengthwise between them.
The flsh' s body is divided into three parts, comprising the head, the tail and the
middle portion, the last-named part being placed crosswise, while a jackal manfully
stands beside the otters, pretending to be a benevolent peace-maker. The same jackal
is seen, in the upper corner on the right, trotting off with the middle portion seized
in his mouth, leaving the head to the one who is sitting by the head, and the tail to
the other who is sitting by the tail. The scene has been accurately identifled by
professor Rhys Davids
2
and others
3
with the instructive story of the Dabbhapuppha-
Jataka (F. 400), narrating how two otters quarrelling over the shares of a flsh they
had caught, were cheated by a jackal.
The Bodhisat was then a tree-spirit by a river-bank. A jackal, named Trickester,
lived with his mate in a place by that river-bank. She desired to eat a fresh rohita flsh.
He promised to bring it to her. Going by the river he wrapped his feet in creepers,
and went along the bank, when he saw two otters, Deep-diver and Shore-ranger,
standing on the bank, looking out for flshes. As he saw a great rohita flsh, the Deep-
diver plunged into water with a bound, and took it by its tail, calling the otter to his
aid. The two together took out the flsh, killed it, laid it on the ground. The
question arose-how to divide it. One asked the other to divide it, but none could
divide. They sat down quarrelling, leaving the flsh as it was. At the moment the
I Stupa of Bharhut, P. 75. 2 Buddhist India, p. 209. 3 J RA S, 1912.
JAT AKA SCENES 129
jackal of (dabbhapuppha) appeared on the spot. They
him to make an equal division and distribute the shares. The jackal
it into three shares, left the head for one and the tail for the other, and ran away
before their eyes, the middle portion in his mouth. The jackal was pleased,
the otters sat downcast, and the wise tree-spirit found a occasion to moralise
upon.
The Barhut scene is evidently based upon a Birth-story, in which a hermit
instead of a tree-spirit, was the wise being to watch the incident and moralise upon it.
40. PI. XXXIII. 4 [scene 122] :-In this scene Cunningham secs a tree
filled with monkeys. A man and a monkey are seated below on stools facing each
other. The man is evidently as his right hand is raised
Monkey-kin,; risks towards the monkey, who sits all attention, leaning slightly forward
his to save his
followers. with both hands resting on his knees. Behind them stand two men
who are holding out a rectangular object between them, which may perhaps be a
net to catch fruits falling from the tree. The monkeys are represented in various
ways, as climbing, sitting, jumping, and eating the fruit of the tree. The bust of a
man appears between two seated figures, with his hands crossed on his breast,! Here
we see a flowing river that divides the crosswise into two portions.
In the river itself we see some fishes moving down along the current and a tortoise
moving up against the current. On its two sides there are two banian trees, one
much larger and taller than the other, both several branches and a great
wealth of foliage and verdure. The smaller tree stands just on the upper bank of
the river, and the larger one at a little distance from the lower bank. The trees stand
facing each other. A great monkey succeeds in effecting a bridge-connexion
between the two trees by fastening one end of a iong piece of cane to the top of
the smaller tree and the other end to the knee of his right leg, and himself grasping
two smaller upper branches of the larger tree with his hands and outstretching his
body in the air to complete the link. It seems that somehow or other he managed to
reach the smaller tree from the larger one and procure a long cane on the other side
of the river. He must have fastened one end of the cane to the top of the smaller
tree and the other end to his leg before he jumped high up in the air to reach the
larger tree across the river. The movement of the long-tailed monkeys apparently
to the retinue of the monkey, is represented by showing them at
various height of the larger tree. One of the older monkeys is seen waiting on the
head of its trunk, turning his face backward as if apprehending some danger from
1 Stupa of Bharhut, pp. 105 106. Cf. Tawney's explanation of the scene in J. A. S. B. for August, 1891.
33
130 BAR HUT
that quarter and ascertaining what it is. One of the younger monkeys sits between
two branches, just above the trunk and below the feet of the great monkey who
in this position stands on that branch of the tree which has grown over the river.
He looks over his back, turning his face towards two monkeys, one younger and
one older, who, sitting one behind the other, are looking up to their leader for
advice and help. It is likely that the same two monkeys are now shown a little
higher up in a second position. Still higher up we see a bigger monkey sitting on an
upper branch, facing the great monkey in the position in which he makes a bridge, for
the troop of monkeys to pass through. It may be that here we have a third position
where the older monkey has moved higher up, followed by the younger monkey who
appears behind and a little below him. A bigger monkey appears on the tree-top just
above the great monkey's head, feeling his way, observing how he should proceed,
with readiness to jump out. The same monkey is again shown as cautiously walking
on all fours along the cane. He appears at last walking down along the main
branch of the smaller tree. Thus we have a clear indication as to how the monkeys
passed from the larger tree to the smaller by treading on the back of the great
monkey and along the cane, and finally got down to the other side of the river
in safety. In the lower portion of the medallion we see the great monkey brought
down by two men with the help of a net or screen like object, sits calmly on a
morha on the left, while the two men remain still standing, holding out the net or
screen. The monkey sits in the usual monkey-fashion, placing his hands on the
knees of his legs , and facing a man who, too, sits on a morha on the right. The
great monkey is seen at last kneeling on the ground with joined hands held on
his breast, in an attitude of respect, and addressing himself to the man on the
morha who waves his right hand, asking others not to make noise. The scene
has been rightly identified with the Mahakapi-}ataka (F. 407), narrating how a great
monkey boldly risked his life to make a way of escape for his followers. There
are altogether three versions of this Birth-story, viz., two in Pali and one in
Sanskrit. The Pali Canonical version is a short and simple narration which does
not suffice to supply the Barhut sculptor with the required details. The Pali
Commentary version has, on the contrary, many details not required by the
Barhut sculptor, and in many points it shows a disparity with the Barhut scene.
The Barhut story was based upon a version similar to the Sanskrit story of Mahakapi
in the Jatakamala (No. 27). The story relevant to the Barhut scene, is as
follows:-
The Bodhisat was then born as a monkey-king. He was strong and vigorous,
131
and lived in a beautiful Himalayan forest with a large retinue of

Near the
Ganges bank there was a huge banyan tree which, with its branches deep
shade and thick leaves, looked like a mountain peak. Its fruits were even larger than
palmyra, and possessed divine fragrance and flavour. From one branch the fruits
fell on the ground, from one into the Ganges water, a:1d fr .Jm two into the main
trunk of the tree. The 1;1reat being and the troop of monkeys took care that no fruit
either <5rew on or fell from the branch that stretched towards the Ganes. But as ill
luck would have it, one ripe fruit, which remained concealed in an ant's nest, fell into
the river, and stuck in a net. When the fruit was shown to the king of Benares
by the fishermen who were in charge of the net, he sent for the foresters from
whom he learnt that it was a delicious and rare fruit. He a::-.ked the foresters where
it grew, and hearing it grew on a river bank in the Himalaya qua1ter, he started
in rafts for the place with a great retinue. Coming to the pbcc tl1e tree stood
he ordered his archers to guard the tree. When they lnd all fallen asleep,
the Bodhisat came at midnight with his retinue. The monkeys moving from
branch to branch, ate the fruits. The king waking and seeing their doings,
ord..:red his ar.:hcrs to surround the monkeys with arrows ready. The
monkeys seeing them and fearing death, as they could not escape,
approached the Bodhisat, their leader, and stood shiverins as he informed him of
the matter, saying, "Sire, the king's archers stand round the tree, meaning to shoot
us with arrows. What are we to do now ?" Do not fcar," said the Bodhisat
comforting them, "I will give you life." He forthwith ascended a branch that rose
up straight, went along another branch that stretched towards the Ganges,
springing from the end of it, passed a hundred bow-lengths and ;.<]i;hted on a bush
on the bank and cutting a cane at the root fastened one end of it to the tree and
the other to his own waist. In measuring the length of the cane to cover the
distance he forgot to reckon the part to be fastened to hi-; W8ist. The result was
that he could reach the tree only by seizing a branch of it with his hands. Thus he
made a bridge for his followers. The ]atakamala story says th<lt the monkey king
fastened one end of the cane to his leg. Here the Commentary adds that the
troop of monkeys finding this means of escape, passed out of the tree, treading on
the back of the Bodhisat and along the cane. The of Benares was filled
with deep emotion to see how the Bodhisat endangered his own life for the safety
of his troop, and became anxious to bring him do\vn by some and take
care of him. He had the raft turned down the Ganges and a pLdorm built there,
I A 111ango tra to the Pali Commentary story. thcugh the comm"1tator says th;,t some auth:mty
knew 1t to be a banyan.
132 BARHUT
and made the Bodhisat come down gently. He made the monkey-king lie on a bed
covered with an oiled skin, and sitting on a low seat, asked him to say what led him
to make himself a bridge for other monkeys. The Bodhisat explained the matter
to the king, and instructing and teaching him, died, and the king honoured the great
monkey with obsequies befitting a king. Here the Sanskrit version relates altogether
a different tale. It adds that the king, calling his men, said to them : "His body
is ulcered and afflicted by the hurried movement of the feet of the troop of monkeys,
terrified by the fear of death, and remaining for a long time in the same position
and tension, he is so much tired out and exhausted that the monkey-king is unable
even to move himself by his own exertion. J:'ou must be quick to bring him down
by holding out a screen and cutting the cane along with the branch of the banyan
tree by means of arrows." They carried out the king's order. The king made the
Bodhisat lie down on a soft bed as he was brought down, and went to him when
he began to feel better, and gently inquired as to what he was to the monkeys
and what they were to him that he did so much for them. The Bodhisat, showing
due respect to the king, answered his inquiry and said many sound words of
wisdom.
In the Barhut scene the great tree is represented as a banyan and the great
monkey appears with one end of the cane fastened to his leg as well as in an
attitude of respect. It has nothing to do with the obsequies. The Barhut story ends
precisely where the Sanskrit story ends. The position of one of the monkeys,
passing to the other tree, shows that he fell from an unusual height on the Bodhisat's
back. This artistic representation seems to have suggested a new point in the
Commentary version that wicked Devadatta, then born as one of the monkeys,
intentionally jumped from high and with force to break the heart of the Bodhisat.
41. PI. XV.-S. Gate. Prasenajit Pillar. Lower Bas-relief. Side. [Scene 123] :-
Vijapi Vijadharo.
1
"The spell-muttering Vidyadhara."
The Vidyadhara or artful magician demigod, referred to in the label, is standing
on a rocky ground, strewn over with several small stones of varying shapes and sizes.
Demon's wife in He stands beside a woman with blooming youth, who is seated on
intrigue w1th a the lid of a big rectangular box, hanging down her right leg on one
Vdyadhara. side of the box and holding a heart-shaped bunch of three ball-shaped
flowers, her right hand lifted up towards her arm. It is not impossible that here the
I Barua Sinha, No. 209.
JAT A K A ~ SCENES 133
bunch of flowers actually symbolises the human heart. The Vidyadhara is unwind-
ing the cloth of his head-dress, which is an Indian turban. His armour bound up
with his dagger, put in a sheath, is pendant from a tree behind him. The bas-relief
with these details seems to illustrate a scene from the Samugga-Jataka (F. 4 ~ 6 ,
marrating how a demon (danava-rakkhasa) was outwitted by a tricky Vidyadhara.
It is said that a man-eating demon was devoted to the Bodhisat, who, on the
adoption of :,ermit-life, was living in a Himalayan forest, not far from the dwelling-
cave of the tormer. The demon seized a lovely woman, with whom he fell in love.
He carried her off to his cave and made her his wife. He arrayed her in robes and
ornaments, and tried to please her by all possible means. In order to protect her,
he took her with him wherever he went. He used to put her in a box which he
swallowed, and so guarded her in his belly. One day he went to bathe carrying
her in the box inside belly. Coming to a tank he threw up the box and taking her
out of it, bathed and anointed her. After dressing her, he allowed her to enjoy
herself in the open air. Without suspecting any harm, he went a little distance to
bathe. Meanwhile the woman saw a Vayu' s son, a Vidyadhara, who was girt
about with a dagger and was than walking through the air. She by a certain
gesticulation of her hand, put in a certain position, signed to him, indicating her
affection. Then and there the Vidyadhara descended to the ground. She placed
him immediately in the box, and sat down upon it, waiting the approach of the
demon. As the demon ca111e near, she opened the box, and gettin<;l inside, lay over the
VidyJdhara, wrapping her garment about him. The demon thinking it was only the
woman inside the box, swallowed it, as usual, and set out for his cave. He came
to see on his way the Bodhisat who skilfully acquainted him with the fact of presence
of a danJcrous rival within. He was greatly alarmed. Vidyadharas surely are full
of tricks : supposing his sword should be in his hand, he will rip open my belly and
make his escape." He forthwith threw up the box and placed it before him. As
soon as the box was opened, the Vidyadhara muttering a spell (vijjath parijapitva)
and seizing his dagger, sprang into the air and went away.
The bas-relief illustrates, among other details, the descent of the Vidyadhara
on a sign being made by the woman. It represents his armour and dagger. It
shows his preparations for getting inside the box, was awaiting the approach of the
demon, who is unfortunately absent from the depicted scene.
42. PI. XLIII. 6.-Piate XLVIII. 6 [Seen 124]:-Abode chatiyam\
"At the water-pool."
This is the inscriptional heading of the second of the two scenes apparently
1 Borua Smha, N-:>. 210.
34
134
BARHUT
representing a single story. lt is rather unusual that two scenes of the same story
S t
'th are distantly placed. The first scene, as noticed by Cunningham,
on re urns wt
victuals to co:nfort consists of two elephants moving in opposite directions, the animal
his helpless mother. going to the right carrying a garland to deposit either at the foot of
a Bodhi-tree or at the base of a stupa, his open mouth showing his fat tongue in a
very natural manner.
1
In the centre of the second scene he sees a tree to which
three elephants are paying reverence, the tree being no other than amba or mango
and the chaitya mentioned in the label being no other than the Chaitya-mango-tree.
2
Dr. Hoernle would have us interpret the label as referring to Arvuda-chaitya, the
woodland-shrine on Mount Abu. But our rendering will show that the reference is
only to a spot marked by a water-canal or water-pool.
We fail to understand how Cunningham makes out three elephants in the
second scene, which, like the first scene, presents just two elephants, of whom
the bigger one with long tusks is evidently male and the other of smaller size and
shorter tusks is female. We need not suppose that in the first scene both the
elephants are moving or that the male elephant going to the right is carrying a
garland. lt is difficult to ascertain the thing carried by him until we come to the
second scene which represents in more prominently. lt shows that the thing is no
other than a bundle of lotus-fibres with lotuses at the top. The first scene presents
the elephants in a standing position and places them in opposite directions. In
the second scene, the elephants are placed in the same direction. The male
elephant appears to have just arrived on the spot graced by the presence of a
woodland-shrine, at the foot of which is a long water-canal or water-pool. He
stands still holding within the fold of his trunk the bundle which he has carried,
while the female elephant is seated on her legs facing the canal, with her trunk
turned on her right side towards her back. If this be a correct study of details of
the two scenes, we cannot resist the temptation of interpreting the has-reliefs as
representations of two situations of the Matiposaka-Jataka (F. 455), narrating
how a virtuous elephant fulfllled under trying circumstances his filial duty towards
his mother.
The Bodhisat was once born as an elephant in the Himalayan region. A
magnificent beast he was, his body all white, with lordship over a herd of
eighty thousand elephants and he was endowed with all qualities and virtues befitting
a royal elephant. He had to look after his blind old mother. For her sake he did
not even mind to forsake his lordship over the herd. Seeing that he was unable to
I Stupa of Bharhut, p. I 0 I. 2 !bid, p. 94.
JAT AKA-SCENES 135
pay proper attention to his mother and the elephants of his herd were concerned
only about their own interest, he went oway with her without the of others.
He came to Mount Chal)doral)a, where he placed his mother in a cave of the hills,
hard by a lotus-pool, and served her with delicious fruits and roots. He
happened to save a forester who lost his way only to pave the way for his capture
by the latter later on. He was brought captive to Bcnares to be trained as a
state-elephant. Though by the king's order he was given a 11 fine food to eat, he
did not take a morseL tormented that he was by the thought of the wretched
condition of his poor blind mother, having none to look after her in his absence.
The king coming to know the fact, sympathised and released him immediately. Being
free he hastened off to Mount Chal)qoral)a, carryin'5 cool water in the hole of his
trunk to sprinkle over the body of his mother to refresh her in her starvation, and
many lotus stalks and roots to feed her. On his arrival at the cave, he found his
mother sleepin'5 and fatigued. He took her by surprise. When water was
sprinkled over her, she thou<5ht some wicked <5od was causing rain to trouble her.
But soon she knew to her deli<5ht that her dear son was by her side to comfort
her. "Rise mother !" said the son, "why should you there lie when your own,
your son, has come !
So far as the Barhut scenes are concerned, the first one seems to represent
the situation in which the Bodhisat is <50ing out to procure food for his mother,
while the second illustrates the return of the son to his mother with water and
victuals.
43. PI. XXVII. 12. [Scene 125]:-Ki[ril]nara-Jatakam.
1
"A Jataka-episode of the Kinnaras."
In this small bas-relief, of which the lower portion and lower halves of the
three actors are broken, a king is seen seated in his throne to the left, intimidating a
pair of Kinnaras, who stand before him to the right. The movement of the king's
hand and rollin5 of his eyes are expressive of his anger and sternness. The poor
Wtsdom of the
Kmnaras
the king to release
them.
Kinnaras stand on the left-hand side of the king in their utter helplessness,
the male standin'5 next to the holding his necklace with his right
hand bent upwards, and the female standing on the left hand with her
right. There is nothing to indicate that feathers round their bodies.
They simply put on big leaves to cover their shame. They are at a loss as to what
to say to the king, at whose mercy they now are. Serge d' Oldenburg and
I BaruaSinha,No.21J. 2 Stupa cf Bharhut.
136 BAR HUT
Professor Rhys Davids took it to be a scene from the Bhallatiya-Jataka (F. 504)
1

The objection to this identifkation is that the Bhallatiya-story does not lay the scene
in a place where the king can be expected to be sitting in his throne. Indeed we
cannot but agree w;th Dr. Hultzsch in identifying the scene with the episode of
Kinnars in the T akkariya l ~ t a k a (F. 481)
2
which is being narrated below :-
A hunter being once in the region of Himalaya captured a pair of Kinnaras,
a Kinnara and his wife, whom he took and presented to the king of Benares, saying
that they were experts in singing and dancing. The king who had never seen such
beings before, was very pleased to have them. He rewarded the hunter and
commanded the Kinnaras to sing and dance. Apprehending that they would not be
able to convey the full sense of their song and that their song was bound to be a
failure, they neither sang nor danced. The kings entreated them repeatedly. At last
he grew angry and ordered to kill these creatures and cook them as food for him.
Seeing the kin<5 was angry and determined to kill them, they humbly explained, one
by one, the cause justifying their action. The king was so much pleased that he at
once sent for the hunter, whom he commanded to set them free in the same place
where they were captured.
44. PI. XXV. 1 [Scene 126] :-Miga-Jatakam.
3
"Bodhisat' s greatness in the deer-birth."
In the lower right corner of this medallion we see a large flooded river, flowing
with a current that is unusually strong, and in the upper portion and the lower left
corner is a charming deer-forest, where one can see three flowering
The deer-king
frustrates t h ~ aim trees, growing side by side, of which one to the right is covered with
of the ungrateful blossoms. A deer appears to have gone to the bank of the river
man who betrays from the lower left corner, lookina out in the direction of the river
him and secures o
the boon of safdy and calling out some one in the water. This is the first phase. In
for himself and for the second phase we see this great deer swimming in the river, cleaving
h1s herd.
the current, lifting up his head far above water, and carrying a man
on his back apparently with the intention of bringing him ashore. In the third phase
we see in the lower left corner the great deer among his herd, roaming in the forest.
He has suddenly halted to look back and ascertain the nature of something unusual
that has reached his ears or attracted his attention. He wistfully looks back to find
himself confronted with an impending danger of life. He finds two men at some
distance behind him, the one in front fully stringing the bow, intending to shoot him
1 Buddhist India, p. 209.
2 JRAS, 1912. 3 Barua. Sinha, No. 212.
JA T K ~ S C E N E S
137
with an arrow which is put to the string, following the direction of the traitor-
like man who stands a little behind him, pointing at the deer with the forefinger of
his right hand. The first man in front has a sword put in a sheath and tied to the
right side of his waist, and a bundle of arrows held up in front. In the fourth or
last phase the great deer is to be seen seated majestically on his four legs, in an
open ground, in the midst of the forest, with the tail stretched out behind and
the head resting gently upon the uplifted neck. The full-grown and well-shaped
body, the branching horns, and the delightfully prominent and bright eyes and
dignified looks contribute all to the building up of his lofty personality. He
sits with his noble demeanour facing the two men who, coming to him from
the upper right corner, now stand before him, with joined hands, listening to
the words of the deer-king. Dr. Hultzsch has ably pointed out that the details
of this scene can be explained only by the Ruru- Jataka (F. 482) and not by the
Nigrodhamiga (F. 12) as suggested by Professor Rhys Davids. The Sanskrit
version of the Ruru story in the Jatakamala (No. 26) is substantially the same as that
in Pali. The two versions differ in some of the details forming the conclusion which
is left to the imagination by the Barhut artist. The story in the main is as follows :-
The Bodhisat was then born as a deer of Ruru species. Having abandoned
the herd, he was dwelling alone near a bend of the river, in a grove of Sala trees
mixed with fair-flowering mangoes. The skin of his body was of the colour of a
well-varnishsd gold plate, his feet seemed as it were covered with lac. His tail
was like the tail of a wild ox, his horns were as silver spirals, his eyes appeared
like bright polished gems and his mouth looked like a ball of red cloth. The son
of a merchant, oppressed by his creditors, threw himself into the Ganges, the torrent
of which bore him away. At about midnight the deer-king heard a pitiful cry
which seemed to be the voice of a man. From his resting place in the bush, he
went down to the river bank and called out conveying a message of hope to the
helpless man. He forthwith jumped into the river, swam to him cleaving the current,
bore him to the bank placing him upon his back ; nay, he gave shelter to the man
in his own dwelling-place for some days, entertaining him with wild fruits. When
the man took leave of him, the good deer-king told him not to betray him to any
king or great man. The man gave his word of honour that he would never tell
any one anything about the deer-king's dwelling-place. But he soon proved to be
an ungrateful traitor. Led away by greed of gain, he soon disclosed the secret of
the golden deer to the king of Benares. With a great following, the king started,
taking the treacherous man as guide to the dwelling-place of the Ruru-deer. The
35
138
BAR HUT
traitor-guide led the king on, pointing with his hand. "There is the golden deer in
that place yonder." The men who accompanied the king encircled the grove and
made an outcry. The king with a certain number of others stood apart, and the
traitor-guide also stood not far off. The deer-king heard the sound which appeared
to be an outcry of a great host. He thought that in order to be safe, he must
anyhow go where the king stood. So he rose and ran towards the king. As the
king saw him coming, he put arrow to string, and stringing his bow, stood facing
the Bodhisat. As he beheld the king, the great deer called out from distance, besee-
ching him to stand still and not to wound. Charmed by his honey-voice, the king
let fall his bow and stood still in reverence. Now the Bodhisat came up to the king
and talked pleasantly with him, standing on one side. All the host also dropped
their weapons and came up, surrounding the king. "Who informed you of my
dwelling-place here" ? the Bodhisat asked the king with a sweet voice. Just then
the wicked man came closer and stood within hearing. The king pointed him out,
saying, "There is he that informed me." "0 mighty king," said the Bodhisat, "men
say one thing with their lips and do another." But do not suppose 'that I am one
of that kind," answered the king, "Please ask the boon of me, I will not deny it once
I have promised you. Trust me." The king gave him the choice of a boon. The
Bodhisat asked for a boon of safety for all creatures including himself. This boon
the king granted, and fulfilled it at all costs.
45. PI. XX. Gateway Pillar at Pataora. Side. Lower Relief [Scene 19] :-
This represents a scenne of a helpless kinnarl turnmg a little aside to stare at a
man, who is trying amorously to catch hold of her from behind. The absence of
P
rominent pendant earrinas and biQ ear-openinas distinouishes the male
Ktnnari resents the
0

0
o
king's cowardly and figure as a human being from the Kinnara and other demigods, and
shameless offer of angels. If these observations hold good, there can hardly be any
love.
doubt that the subject of the sculpture is a scene of the Chanda-
Kinnara- Jataka (F. 485), narrating how an amorous king miserably failed to force
into his embrace a Kinnarl, whose husband he had shemelessly killed.
The Bodhisat was at the time a Kinnara by the name of Chandra, whose
wife was Chandra. The happy pair dwelt on Chandraparvata, the silver-mountain in
the Himalayan region. The king of Benares came to this mountain, all alone, dressed
in two yellow robes, and armed with five weapons, for hunting. lt was then a hot
season, during which the pair of Kinnaras came down from the mountain and
wandered about by a stream. One day, they went down into the stream at a certain
halting place and scattered flowers, the husband played upon it and sang with a
JAT SCENES 139
honey voice, which the wife waving her soft hands danced hard by, singing withal.
The king startled by the sweet sound, descended from the hill to watch the playful
music of the Kinnara pair. But he soon fell in love with the Kinnarl, and intending
to have her as his wife, stealthily shot her husband, who passed away on the spot
with a heavy sigh of grief. She soon come to know the tragic fate that befell the
Kinnara, her lord. She suddenly cried out aloud, which was natural to a person
overtaken by a rude shock of pain. The king knowing her husband was d.::ad, came
out and showed himself. At she beheld him, she trembled in fear and took to flight.
Standing upon the hill-top, she condemned the king's cowardly sin. The king going
up to her, tried to comfort her, tempting her at the same time with the future joy of
her as his queen. "No, thou must not come near me !" she cried in the lion-roar,
declaiming the king, I will rather slay myself than yield myself to thy passion." The
king found her unyielding. He let her alone, and went away. As he left the spot,
she came down from the hill to mourn over the body of her husband, whom she
brought back to life by virtue of the power of her love and innocence.
The Barhut sculpture just depicts the scene of the king comforting the Kinnarl,
who is naramukhl, in spite of the fact that she is described in the Birth-story as a
brute\
46. PI. XL VIII. 7 [Scene 127] :-Bhisaharaniya-Jatakarh.
2
"The Jataka-episode of lotus-fibre-stealing."
In this coping-panel Cunningham sees five actors : a or male ascetic, a
female ascetic, a layman, an elephant, and a monkey. The and the monkey are
both seated and are both speakino. The female ascetic, whose right
appears b
before the noble shoulder is bare, is addressing the gishi and the layman is making an
ascetic and confesses offering of a bundle of lotus-stalks. Behind the is his hut.
3
that it was he who H . d I d k" d
I d h b jl
ere we see an ascetic, seate cross-.egge on a s m sprea over a
concea e t e un e
of lotus-sUks. flat stone, facing a female ascetic, a monkey, a high personage and
an elephant. Behind him are his leaf-hut and some plantain or benana trees. The
ascetic remains sitting, raisin<J his right hand before his eyes, placing his thumb upon
his held out palm. The ascetic is evidently making an oath in the presence of others.
The monkey in a kneeling posture and in a similar attitude of right-hand, is making
an oath before the ascetic. The female ascetic, holding out the palm of her right
hand, is also trying to convince the ascetic of some truth. The elephant, standing
1 See lndic.n H1storical Quarterly, Vol. X. No. 2, June, 1934, for a full explanatory note by J1tenJra Nath
Banef)ee on the Gandhara sculpture d1fferently illustrating the same Birth-story. The connexion of the G2.ndhd.ra
sculpture with the Pah Jataka in question was suggested to Mr. Banerjee by the author.
2 Barua S1nha, No. 2!3. 3 Stupa of Bharhut, p. n.
,,
140 BARHUT
behind all, speaks out to prove his innocence. The high personage standing behind
the monkey, holds out a bundle of lotus-fibres, as it were to assure the ascetic and
his followers that they were doing much ado for nothing. Behind this man is a
beautiful full-bloom lotus which serves as an ornamentation as well as an indication
for the existence of a lake. The inscription leads us to look here for the illustration
of an incident of lotus-fibre stealing. There was a great mystery over the disappear-
ance of a bundle of lotus-stalks, and this was removed when the high personage
produced it before all. The scene as pointed out by Professor Rhys Davids and
other scholars, is no other than that of the Bhisa-Jataka (F. 488). The Sanskrit
version in the Jatakamala (No. 19) bears the title Bisa-Jataka. lt relates :-
The Bodhisat was then born as the eldest son of a wealthy Brahmin. After
his parents' death he renounced the world, he retired into the Himalaya region taking
with him his six brothers, his sister, two servants-one male, one female, and one
companion. An elephant, a monkey and the deity that dwelt in the tree of his
hermitage became his devotees. His hermitage was built in a delightsome spot near
a lotus-lake. Every day some one among his brothers and male servant and
companion, went by turns to gather fruits and roots. He whose turn it was would
bring in the provender, and laying on a flat stone would make eleven portions of it ;
then making the gong sound he would take his own portion and depart to his own
place of dwelling. At the gong sound others would come up to take his or her
allotted portion of the find. After a time they gathered lotus-fibres and ate them,
apportioning them as usual. In order to test their virtue, Sakra caused the '5reat
ascetic's share to disappear on three successive days. The Bodhisat failing to
understand the cause, sounded upon the gon'5 at evening, when all the inmates came
together. He was told by each of the three brothers who brou'5ht in the food on
those three days that he took care to set aside the share of the eldest. He could
suspect none. So the disappearance of the ascetic's share of lotus-fibres became a
great problem. The deity came out and sat down in their midst. The elephant,
too, came and stood on one side. The monkey also came and stood on one side.
They all decided to prove their innocence by solemn oath. Each of them made an
oath. The Bodhisat also made an oath on his part to assure others that he had not
said that the food was not there when it was. When they had finished making their
oath thus, Sakra appeared in their midst to assure them that it was he who made the
lotus-fibres disappear, and return to his heaven, praising them for their sincerity.
The ascetic's brothers, servants, and companion do not appear in the Bar hut
scene, and that evidently for want of space.
JAT AKA-SCENES
47. PI. XXVI. 6 [Scene 128] :-Chadarhtiya-Jatakarh.
1
"Bodhisat' s suffering in his birth as six-tuskeq elephant."
141
Here is a tall and large banyan tree that divides the medallion into two halves.
The tree shows several hanging roots and four main branches that spread in four
The noble ele- main branches that spread in four directions. In the upper right
phant suff.m the corner we see an elephant who alertly looks out, holding out his
pain of death
10
trunk in front. Two other positions lower below go to show that
yield his tusks to a
hunter employed by the same elephant has now come up to the foot of the tree and
a queen. approached a hunter who is seen standing in the left half, under
the cover of the tree. From the lower positions it is clear that the elephant is a
six-tusked beast with a lotus ornament on his forehead. In the fourth position
the elephant appears in the left half and slightly bends down his body to enable the
hunter to seize his tusks and saw them off. The hunter appears in an ordinary human
dress, with a turban on his head. There is nothing unusual in the height or size
of the elephant. The bow and pointed arrows are lying on the ground before the
hunter. The illustrated scene, as appears from its label, is one of the Chaddanta-
Jataka (F. 514) which is a favourite theme of early Buddhist art, and reaches us
in several versions. We need not here institute a comparison of different literary
versions
2
and artistic representations.
3
But we must observe that here, as perceived
by Cunningham,
4
we have a simple representation of a simpler story, much simpler
than the Pali Commentary version, even simpler than the Pali Canonical legend as
we find it reproduced in the Commentary in the form of an exquisite ballad. The
earlier Canonical legend here contemplated can be easily gleaned from its later
recast, and it relates :-
The Bodhisat was then born as a six-tusked mighty elephant, all white, and
guarded by a large herd of windswift elephants with tusks as big as chariot-poles.
He lived with his attendant herd on a golden cliff beyond seven long mountain
ranges in the north. Beneath this cliff was a royal banyan tree whose roots
supported eight thousand spreading shoots. Hard by was a deep pool where the
royal beast used to bathe and swim. A queen saw this elephant in a dream, and
would have his tusks at all costs. A bold royal hunter was sent to the golden
cliff who marked the place where the elephant dwelt and the pool where he bathed
1 Barua Sinha, No. 217.
2 See M. L. Feer's comparat1ve study of five literary versions in JA for 1395, Tome V., N.S.
3 See M. Foucher's comparative study of artistic representations in his Beginnings of Early Buddhist Art.
4 Stapa of Bharhut, p. 64.
36
142 BAR HUT
and swam. The hunter sank a pit near the pool, and as the elephant passed by,
discharged a mighty shaft. Though wounded, the noble being remained unruffled in
spirit, and approaching the man, asked him what his object was in slaying him thus.
On being told that he came there for his tusks, the elephant said :-
"Rich store of goodly tusks have I,
Relics of my dead ancestry,
And this well knows that cursed dame,
'Tis at my life the wretch doth aim.
Rise, hunter, and or ere I die,
Saw off these tusks of ivory :
Go bid the shrew be of good cheer,
The beast is slain ; his tusks are here."
Forthwith the hunter began to saw off the shining tusks from the noble
creature's jaw, and hastened back home with the matchless prize, and handed it over
to the queen, saying :
"Here are his tusks : the beast is dead."
The Vayu-Purarya (LXIX. 222) represents the Sha<;ldanta as a hybrid, the
akulika or nervous class of elephants, characterised by elongated lower lips, charming
looks, black colour, handsomeness, august shape and broad face. In the Jataka
descriptions these elephants appear to be all white in colour. The Canonical
description makes it clear that the elephant-king was called Chaddanta because he
possessed six tusks (kufijaro chabbisaryo). In the Barhut sculpture the elephant is
decidedly six-tusked. In all the Sanskrit Buddhist versions Sha<;ldanta or Six-tusked
is the substitute for Chaddanta. But the Pali Commentary version shows a grand
ingenuity in explaining Chaddanta as meaning a denizen of a place near the
Chaddanta lake, forgetting the fact that the lake itself derived its name from the
six-tusked elephants that dwelt near it. The Barhut artist represents the royal
banyan as a tree with four main branches, and this is a point of agreement with
the Commentary story. But it is a problem whether the art influenced the literature
or vice versa.
48. PI. XXIII. 5. [Scene 129] :-This is a spirited scene where Cunningham
A good monkey sees on the right a man hurling a large stone at a monkey who clasps
saves the hfe of a h b h J 1 h ddl h k
im y is eas. n t e mi e e sees a mon ey tryina to escape up
man who threw
0
t>
a stone to break a tree from a man who clings tenaciously to his back. The third
his head. monkey is lying along the branch of a tree with his head.
JA T AKA-SCENES 143
It is not correct to say that there are three monkeys and two men, for in
truth one monkey and one man have been represented in three successive phases
of the same sculptured story. In the first phase the long-tailed monkey seated on
the left on a branch of a fruit-tree, growing upon a rocky mountain, is gazing
downwards at the man who is lying helpless far below. In the second phase,
shown in the middle, the monkey is climbing up a creeping plant or a han3ing branch
of a tree, carrying on his back the man who holds him fast, clasping his neck
by his hands. In the third phase on the right the man is about to throw a stone,
aiming at the head of the monkey who appears to rest, being tired and exhausted.
Dr. Hultzsch has rightly identified the scene with the Mahakapi- Jataka (F. 516)}
of which the Sanskrit version is to be found in the ]atakamala (No. ~ 4 . This,
as will appear from the following narration, is a simple but pathetic story of a
compassionate monkey suffering brutally at the hands of an ungrateful man, whose
life he saved :-
The Bodhisat then came to birth as a monkey, a long-tailed ape, who lived
alone in the cavity of a rocky precipice. A Brahmin husbandman roamed through
the pathless jungle tracts to seek his oxen, and was lost in the maze of a vast
wilderness. Full seven days passed away, and he had nothing to eat or drink. He
seeing at last a Tinduka tree that had grown over that rocky precipice, climbed upon
it to eat the fruits that were hanging from its hangin'6 branches. The branch upon
which his body rested suddenly broke, and he fell into a hell-like abyss where he lay
utterly helpless for ten days. While <flOin<fl from bough to bough in search of
fruits, the <flood monkey caught sight of the unfortunate man who was lying far
below. The Brahmin eagerly looked up to him for help, and said that he would
pour all blessin<fls upon him if he could find a way of saving him. The monkey
tried his stren<flth, and comin'fl down, asked the Brahmin to climb upon his back,
cast his arms upon his neck and hold him fast, while he unlifted him from the rocky
fastness. The Brahmin did as he was advised. The monkey having thus hauled
the man out, felt tired and wanted to sleep. He requested the man to stand as
<flUard by his side while he slept. As he was sleeping, an evil thought arose in
the heart of the Brahmin, and led by it, he picked up a stone which he hurled at
the monkey, his benefactor, meaning to break his head. Thouh the stone hit the
monkey's head, failed to kill him. The monkey knowing the man's cruel intention,
quickly bounded up a tree, and sitting upon a branch, reproached and cursed the
ungrateful sinner.
I Stupa of Bharhut, p. 105. 2 JRAS, 1912.
'"
144
BARHUT
49. PI. XL VI. 4. [Scene 130] :-Here Cunningham sees two men and
one woman, who are standing before a seated ascetic. Behind the is his
hermitage. The men are standing in a respectful attitude with their
At a suggestion
hands crossed on their breasts, while the woman is eaoerly listenino
from a superstitious 1:> o
woman, the Brah- to the words of the sage, who is addressing them with his forefinger
min minister, and raised. The present scene may perhaps be intended to picture
subsequently the
king spat on the the arrival of Rama, Slta and at the hermitage of the sage
matted hair of a Bharadvaja.
1
guileless ascetic to
get rid of sin.
This description and identification are far from being correct.
The ascetic with his matted hair, gracefully fastened into a knot
directly on the back of his head, is seated on one side of his cottage, keeping his
legs erect in front within a noose passing round his body. Like his garment, his
seat seems to be made of bark. lt may be that he is sitting upon his upper
garment, spread on the ground. He sits with his head slightly reclined to his left
side, and attention fixed upon a ring-like object, say, a mystic-circle
grasped with two hands from two sides, and held up. His cottage is a four-
sided hut, with a roof of four blocks, joined together and meeting in a point at
the top. lt is typically a kutagara or one-peaked house, showing a
near the door in front. Of the two men, one on the left hand side of the ascetic
and a tree, calmly stands, placing his left hand upon his breast, while the second
man stands in a slightly kneeling posture, holding his hands across his breast, the
palm of his right hand placed on the back of his left hand. Both appear to be
royal personages. But the attitude of the hands of the second man is not that of
reverent supplication. The robust woman who stands behind the second man,
holding the hip-belt with her left hand, looks like a courtezan rather than a wife or
a queen. The underlying story is no other than an episode of the Sarabhanga-
Jataka (F. 522), in which a courtezan, a Brahmin minister and a king are found
guilty of having subjected an innocent ascetic to humiliation.
One of Sarabhanga' s disciples, Krisavatsa by name, lived in a park, in
the city of Kumbhavatl in the dominion of King A royal courtezan,
who was deposed from her position, took him to be an Ill Luck. The king, calling
her to mind, restored her to her position. She fondly believed that she got back
her former position because she had got rid of her sin on the person of the Ill Luck.
Not long after the king deposed his Brahmin chaplain and minister from his office,
I Sttipa of Bharhut, p. 103.
JAT SCENES 115
and reinstated him. He, too, believed that he recovered his honour because he
had got rid of his sin in the same way, following the advice of the courtezan.
Now came the turn of the king. A disturbance broke out on his frontier, and he
went forth with a division of his army to flght. At the advice of his chaplain and
minister, he went into the park. He flrst of all nibbled his tooth-stick and let his
spittle and the stick fall on the ascetic's matted hair, and bathed his head. The
ascetic patiently endured this humiliation, bearing no evil thought. But the gods
were angry enough to destroy the king on the seventh day with all his subjects and
kingdom. Sarabhanga was then the Great Being.
The Barhut bas-relief represents a scene where the king is seen getting rid of
his sin, after his Brahmin minister and courtezan had done it already.
50. PI. XXVI. 7. [Scene 131] :-lsisirhgiya-Jatakarh.
1
Jataka".
"The scene of s birth".
Here in the upper half we see an aged hermit seated on his legs in the right,
and his cottage in the left. Between the hermit and his cottage is a flre-place
J3.ishyasringatakes h
1
s where the sacred flre is kept burning. A little higher up, between
birth in the womb the hermit and the flre, there is to be seen on the ground an earthen
of a doe. pot covered with an earthen lid, and between the flre and the cottage,
one can see two earthen bowls with handled earthen lids hanging in nets of cords
from a horizontally flxed up bamboo pole or wooden bar. The locks of matted hair
are coiled, piled up and knotted on the hermit's head. The hermit shows long board
and mustache on his face, and wears two garments of bhiirja leaves, the upper
garment tied round his body as a covering for his breast. He represents indeed
a typical Vedic ascetic and fire-worshipper. His cottage is a one-peaked house, the
vaulted roof of which is thatched with bhiirja leaves in a distinct style, where we
see the roof is divided into some layers, each layer consisting of several square
slices. While the hermit is engaged in attending to the sacred flre, his curiosity
is aroused by a strange sight below, namely, the struggle of a fully developed and
healthy human child to come out of the womb of a doe. The second position shows
that the hermit has come to rescue the child, apparently crawling on the ground or
walking on his knees and stretching out his hands. The strangest way in which
the doe attained maternity and the hermit became instrumental in bringing it about
is naively represented in the lower right corner where the hermit is found sitting on
1 Barua Sinha, No, 218.
37
lJJt
146 BAR HUT
his legs, and the doe is seen drinking water from his mingeing place. The ground
outside the cottage appears to be a grassy woodland. Cunningham has identified
the scene with the Nalinika-Jataka (F. 526)
1
, and Prof. Rhys Davids with the
Alambusa (F. 523)
2
The Sanskrit counterparts with the very same titles are to be
found in the Mahavastu. Such counterparts can also be traced in the Avadanakalpa-
lata, where the Alambusa story is entitled We identify the scene
with the story of s birth from a doe which is common to the two
Jatakas, and suspect that the Alambusa and the Nalinika ]atakas represent just two
phases of one and the same original legend of corresponding to the
story in the Mahabharata and the Ramayarya, preferably to that in the
former. In the Buddhist treatment the Nalinika-]ataka remains a counterpart of
the Great Epic legend, and it is possible that the phase represented in the
Alambusa-Jataka resulted from a purely Buddhist manipulation. Taking the two
Jatakas together, the story of can be summarised thus :-
The Bodhisat was then born in Benares as a noble and learned Brahmin
who adopted the ascetic life, and lived in a forest home in the Himalayas. His
pretty leaf-hut could be seen in the midst of plantain and bhiirja trees, and
smoke could be seen rising from the flame of flre nursed by him. A certain doe
in the hermit's mingeing place attained maternity as a result of eating grass
and drinking water mingled with his semen. Henceforth the doe became enamoured
of him and always resorted to the spot near his hermitage. The wise hermit
examining into the matter learned the facts of the case. In due course of
time the doe gave birth to a male child, whom the Bodhisat watched over
with a father's affection. The child was named lsisitiga or When
the lad reached years of discretion, he was admitted to holy orders. His
father kept him far out of the reach of women and fairies, and strongly
advised him not to be tempted by them. But so earnest the young
ascetic was in his practice that Sakra trembled in his throne, and soon sent
down the most accomplished among the heavenly nymphs, to tempt
him while his father was absent from the hermitage, and failing thereby to
achieve his aim, instigated the king of Benares in a dream to send his
daughter to seduce the innocent youth as a means of compelling the gods to pour
down rain. of the Buddhist story was tempted without being overcome
by temptation. Neither the princess nor the nymph was successful by all their wiles
and guiles and pleasing arts to lead him astray from his path.
I Stupa. of Bha.rhut, pp. 64-65. 2 Buddhist India., p. 209.
JA T SCENES 147
The Barhut title lsisirhgiya-Jataka
1
indicates that himself was the
hero of the sculptured story, and not his father. The fact that the hermitage was
marked by the growth of bhurja plants is brought out by the hermit's garments and the
material with which the roof of his cottage has been thatched.
51. PI. XXVII. 14. !Scene 132] :-Cunningham has read the details of
this scene with his strong bias for the Ramayanic story of Rama and his wanderings.
He sees in it Bharata standing in front of Rama and Slta, holding an
The good ascetic
does not enter the umbrella and a pair of shoes in his right hand, and a pole in his left.
paiace, betng warne:l The pole rests on Bharata' s shoulder, while in mid-front a dog,
by a dog. apparently belonging to Rama, sits at his feet facing Bharata.
2
The upper left and the lower right corners of this Coping-panel are slightly
injured. The uninjured portion presents the front view of a building with its long
roof. In the left half we see a man and a woman in front of this building, either
walking on, the latter behind the former, or standing together, the latter holding with
her left hand the right hand of the former. The closed flst of the man's left hand and
the general attitude of the upraised foreflngers of their right hands are clearly ex-
pressive of a grim-determination to teach a proper lesson to some one. In the middle
we see a big dog guarding the entrance or the way leading to the palatial residence.
This dog seeing an ascetic coming, sits on its haunches or leans forward on its
forelegs, and loudly barks uplifting its head, apparently meaning to stop the stranger
on the way. The ascetic, knowing not the cause, pauses to understand the dog' s
intention. He solemnly stands, with his genial presence, lookin'6 at the dog. It is he
who carries a sunshade and a pair of shoes in his right hand, and a single or a triple
staff in his left. The staff rests over his left shoulder, and his bowl is suspended from
it in a net of cord which is fastened to its upper end. Dr. Hultzsch has rightly
identifled the scene with the Mahabodhi-Jataka (F. 528J the Sanskrit version of
which is to be found in the Jatakamala (No. 33). Instead of one, we must count
two versions in Pali, viz., the Canonical and the Commentary. The Canonical ballad
itself, as reproduced in the Commentary, shows two stages in its growth, it appearing
in its second or flnal stage to be a combination of two distinct legends or dialogues
in verse, the one of which supplies us with a literary counterpart of the Barhut story,
and the other represents a Buddhist fabrication exposing the pernicious moral conse-
quences of the doctrines of some of the Indian teachers who were contemporaries of
Buddha and f1<5ure in Buddhist literature as Heretics. The very title Mahabodhi-
I Buddhaghosa refers to it as Migasingi-Jataka.
2 Steipa of Bharhut, p. 74.
..
"
...
148 BARHUT
Jataka betrays the smuggling hand of the Buddhist. The sculptured scene represents
a simple episode which is common to all the versions of the Jataka, and the one to
which the title Mahabodhi is inapplicable. Unfortunately, there is no inscription to
guide us in our decision as to whether the Jataka, as known to the Barhut sculptor,
bore the title Mahabodhi or a title other than Mahabodhi. The Birth-story,
represented by the Canonical ballad in its earlier form, fully explains the details of
the Barhut scene as will appear from the following narration :-
The Bodhisat was then a holy ascetic of wandering mendicant vow, a
Parivrajaka of ripe wisdom and calm demeanour, equipped with such requisites as
the antelope's skin, the staff, the umbrella, the shoes, the hook, the bowl and the
cloak. He lived for twelve years in the royal park near the city of Benares, coming
to the palace to beg his daily food, being entertained and honoured by the king,
sitting on the royal couch and sharing the royal food. The king, who was so long
his devotee and admirer, began to suspect a great harm from him, and wanted to get
rid of him and drive him away by means of diminishing the honours paid to him day
after day. On the flrst day after this he was served with royal food but offered a
bare couch to sit upon. The next day when he came, he was offered the bare couch
but served with mixed food, the food prepared for the king along with that prepared
for others. On the third day he was let off with a quantity of mixed food from the
head of the stairs. On the fourth day he was offered some broth made of rice dust,
and that on the terrace below. "How is it", the king thought, "that this ascetic had
not gone away though he knew that the honours paid to him diminished day after
day ? His motive must be something else than honours," Thus taking him to be
a mischievous visitor and a dangerous enemy, the king employed some men to kill
him when he came and stood inside the door. As the king after his evening meal
lay on the royal couch, he felt the pang of a guilty conscience. Getting no comfort
in his bed he rolled about from side to side, without exchanging a single word with
the chief queen who lay beside him. "How is it, Sire, that you do not say a word
to me? Have I in any way offended you ?" "No, lady," he said, "but they tell
me the mendicant has become an enemy of ours, and I have ordered my men
to cutt off his head when he comes to the palace to-morrow." She
comforted him, saying, "If, Sire, he is your enemy, why do you grieve at killing
him ? Y. our own safety must be attended to, even if the enemy you slay is your
own son." Their conversation was overheard by the dog who guarded the palace
door. Early next morning the dog lay with his head on the threshhold, watching
the road by which the Bodhisat came. The holy ascetic came at the usual hour from
the royal park and approached the palace door. The dog seeing him opened his
JATAKASCENES 149
mouth and showed his white teeth and gave a loud bark to warm him of the danger
inside. The ascetic understood what the dog meat to say. He noticed the change
in treatment day after day, and knew at once that some one had slandered him to
the king. So he was prepared beforehand to go away, and waited a few days
only to ascertain what the matter was. The friendly service of the dog proved to be
a sufficient warning for him to depart. As he was going away, the king standing
at the door, with the queen beside him, inquired :
What mean these things, umbrella, shoes, skin-robe and staff in hand ?
What of this cloak and bowl and hook ? I fain would understand
Why in hot haste thou wouldst depart and to what far-off land."
The ascetic replied :
"These twelve long years I've dwelt, 0 king, within thy royal park;
And never once before to-day this hound was known to bark.
To-day he shows his teeth so white, defiant now and proud,
And hearing what thou toldst the queen, to warm me, barks aloud."
The king confessed :
"The sin was mine : thee, holy sir, my purpose was to slay ;
But now I favour thee once more, and fain would have thee stay."
The ascetic said :
"My food of old was pure and white, next motely 'twas in hue,
Now it is brown as brown can be. 'Tis time that I withdrew.
First on the dais, then upstairs and last below I dine ;
Before I' m thrust out neck and crop my place I will resign.
Who stay too long flnd oftentimes that friend is changed to foe ;
So ere I lose thy friendship I will take my leave and go."
The king said :
"Though I with folded hands beseech, thou will not lend an ear,
Thou hast no word for us to whom thy service would be dear,
I crave one favour : come again and pay a visit here."
The ascetic said :
"If nothing comes to snap our life, 0 king, if thou and I
Still live, 0 fosterer of thy realm, perhaps I'll hither fly,
And we may see each other yet, as days and nights go by."
Thus the ascetic took leave of the king and went away, exhorting the king to
be good, vigilant and righteous in discharging his duties. Here ends the Canonical
38
150
BAR HUT
ballad in its earlier form, and here also ends the story of the sculptured scene. The
hope held out to the king by the ascestic that he might revisit the place and they
might see each other served as a peg for the second episode, developed somewhat
differently in the three versions.
51. PI. XLV. 3 [Scene 133] :-The scene is thus described by Cunningham:
"A sage, with his right shoulder bare, is seated on a morha, with his right leg
raised, in the Indian fashion, and his left foot resting on a footstool. In the middle
. stands a female, who is apparently arguing with the sage, as both
The queen convin-
ces the king of her have their right forefingers raised as if addressing each other. To the
maternity. right a female is leaving the scene. There is nothing to attract special
attention in this sculpture, save perhaps the simple dressing of the women's hair,
which is merely combed down the back of the head and fastened in a knot behind
the neck."
1
The departing figure may not be a The male figure in front of the
female in the middle is not perhaps seated on a morha but on a seat looking like a
bedstead or a couch. The female has her left hand placed on her waist-cloth
covering the lower part of her abdomen, which is very prominent. She looks as if
eager to explain with the upraised forefinger of her right hand some important matter
to him, but he does not care even to look at her and the expression of his right hand
suggests that he is not convinced of the truth of her story, or that he is not willing to
believe her. If all these conjectures be right, the scene can be rendered thoroughly
explicable in the light of the first part of the Kusa-Jataka (No. 531), describing the
circumstances of the birth of Prince Kusa.
The story relates that, long ago, the subjects of king Okkaka or lkshvaku of the
Malla country, were very anxious to see him leave at his death a descendant to
continue his line. Happy and prosperous that they all were under his rule, they could
not be satisfied with the idea that he should not have a son born to him before his
death. The king who was always bent upon doing all that he could to please his
subjects, gladly consented to try all rightful means, in accordance with the rules of
ancient morality, to obtain the birth of a son even sending out his chief queen
SllavatP into the streets for a week as a solemn act under religious sanction (dharma-
I Smpa of Bharhut. p. 102.
2 The mere representation of hair combed down the back of the head and fastened in a knot behind the neck
cannot be regarded, according to the Barhut convzntion, as the characteristic of a f.emale Such a way of
dressing the hair is not peculiar to women.
3 Alindadevi, according to the Mahavastu-story.
JAT AKA-SCENES 151
nataka)\ By the power of the queen' s virtue the abode of Sakra, king of the gods,
began to glow, and Sakra, determined not to allow the virtuous queen to be molested
by the mob appeared in the disguise of an aged Brahmin carrying her off as she was
let out.
2
Sakra transported the queen in an unconscious state to his abode, the
heaven of the Thirty-three, where he granted her a boon of two sons, one of whom
would be ugly but wise, and the other handsome but a fool. The queen preferred
to have the ugly son Brst. Sakra presented her with a piece of kusa grass, a
heavenly robe and sandal wood, the flower of the coral tree and a Kokanada lute.
Thereafter she was transported back to the king's bed-chamber and !aid do\Vn on the
same couch with the king. Sakra, disguised of course as the aged Brahmin touched
her person with his thumb and at that moment a god from the heaven of the Thirty-
three descended and took birth in her womb. He then straightway went back to
his heaven. The wise queen knew that she had conceived. The king on waking was
surprised to see her and asked who had brought her there. He could not believe
when she told him that she was brought there by Sakra. "With my own eyes,"
he exclaimed, "I saw an aged Brahmin carry you off. Why do you try to deceive
me ?" She Brst showed him the kusa grass as a proof, which failed to convince
him. But on being shown her heavenly robes, he believed her. But he was really
concerned about her motherhood and was exceedingly glad when the queen assured
him of her maternity.
3
Now, examined in the light of this story, the bas-rclief can be explained thus :
the departing Bgure, a male or a female, is Sakra in disguise, quickly returning to his
heaven ; the male Bgure seated on a couch is King ikshvaku in an attitude suggestive
of disbelief in what the woman before him is telling him ; this woman is no other
than his chief queen Silavatl or Alindadevl.
There is a Sanskrit version of the story of Kusa in the Mahavastu/ which differs
in many important details from the Pali. lt is difficult to ascertain whether the
Barhut sculpture follows the Pali or the Sanskrit version.
l The story records three successive attempts. F1rst the dancing g1rls were turned out ; then the court-ladies,
lastly the chief queen herself. The details are extraordmary but difficult to render With grace or ewn the original
naivety.
2 With ribald details in the original after the style of Shakespeare's wittkisms.
3 The immorality of the story as a conte drolat1que need not the reader. In most of t!-Ie Barhut
sculptures, the Buddhist Birth-stories represented by the sculptor are not necessanly m:Jral cnes. For mstanse, the story
of lsisif]lgiya or l)ishyasringa is depicted only by the re;::resentat10n of the first part relatmg to the birth of the ascetic
from a dre.
4 Mahavastu, Senart's Ed, 11. pp. 420 If. See Rajendra Lala M1tra's 'Sansknt Bu.Jdh1;t LitErature of Nepal,
'pp. 142 ff; also pp. 110 and 316.
152 BARHUT
52. PI. XXV. 4 [Scene 134] :-Mugapakaya-]atakam.
1
"The Jataka where wisdom ripens in silence."
In the upper left corner of this medallion is a palace or a palace gate, in front
of which are two men standing, either facing each other or both facing a chariot kept
standing in the lower left corner. Four caparisoned horses are yoked
.The prince,_ pretend- to the chariot in which a man is seen seated cross-legged with a grown
tng to be cnpple,
deaf and dumb, up boy held up on his hands. In the lower right corner a man,
moves his limbs. say the charrioteer, stands on the ground in a reflective mood, placing
opens his mouth his right hand upon his breast, while an ascetic is seen departing on his
when he is about
to be buried, being left side. In the last phase the ascetic is found seated cross-legged with
carried to a forest his matted hair and bark garments, the upper and the lower, between
in a chariot and be- f dd J h d b f
. two trees in a orest, a ressing a roya personage w o stan s e ore
comes an ascetic
after his release from him in the left in the upper right corner, with joined hands and a
the custody of the number of men standing behind him. The Barhut sculpture evidently
charioteer. h 1 d f M kkh T J k
represents t e centra episo e o the ugapa a or emiya ata a
(F. 540), as well appear from the following narration :-
The Bodhisat was then born as Prince T emiya into the family of the king
of Benares. Recollecting the torments he suffered in hells in his previous births, he
pretended to be dumb, deaf and incapable idiot. His birth fllled the heart of the
king and of the people with joy, while his incapacity and dumbness caused them
much sorrow and shame. When he was born, the foretellers declared him
to be a prince of fortunate and auspicious marks. But when they were
again consulted after sixteen years, they altered their verdict and advised the
king to bury him as an ill-luck in a charnel-fleld, conveying him there in an unlucky
chariot drawn by some unlucky horses. The king summoning his charioteer, ordered
him to take the prince to a charnel-fleld, as advised by the fortune-tellers, and bury
him after breaking his head. In the early morning, the charioteer yoked the chariot,
made it stand at the gate, and entered the royal bedchamber where the queen lay
embracing her dear son. He came down from the palace, lifting the prince up like a
bundle of flowers, and mounted the chariot. He thought of driving the chariot, as
ordered by the king, to the western gate, but being confounded by the unseen power
of the god, he led his chariot by a wrong way and passed out of the city by the
eastern gate and reached the end of a forest which appeared to him to be the channel-
fleld. He, leaving the prince in the chariot, alighted from it to dig the hole with a
I Barua Sinha No. 221.
JATAKASCENES
153
spade. The prince who had hitherto never moved his hands nor feet, moved about
and alighting from the chariot, went up to the hole which the charioteer was digging.
The charioteer looked up and was astonished to behold a glorious human form.
He found forthwith that the prince so long pretended to be what he was not. The
prince told him many words of wisdom which opened his eyes. He tried in vain to
persuade the prince to go back to the palace, for he had already made up his mind
to become an acestic. Sakra sent down Visvakarma to build a hermitage in a grove
of trees. The prince entered the leaf-hut to put on the red bark garments, the
upper and under, throwing the black antelope skin on his shoulder, tying up his matted
hair, and carrying a pole on his shoulder and a staff in his hand. As a full-dressed
ascetic he went out and returned to the hut, and sitting on a rugged mat, he became
lost in meditation. The charioteer returning to the palace, informed the king of all
that he had seen. The king in a large procession hastened to the spot. The story
relates that the queen, too, came there, surrounded by the royal ladies. The king
walked on foot into the hermitage, and respectfully greeted the ascetic who came out
of his hut to greet the king with courtesy. In vain the king persuaded the ascetic
to revert to the prince life. The ascetic, on the contrary, made such an appeal that
the king could not but adopt ascetic life with all of his household and kingdom.
In the Barhut scene the queen' s part is dispensed with. Here the king alone
appears in the hermitage with the people behind him.
53. PI. XLIV. 2 [Scene 135] :-Usukaro ]anako raja Sivaladevi.
1
"The arrow-maker, King Janaka, Queen Slvall."
In this scene Cunningham notices three flgures, each with a label overhead
gtvmg the name. The chief flgure is of a royal personage seated to
the left, and before him stand two others, a male and a female. The
maker's explana- name of the seated flgure in the left is lost, leaving the trace of the
tion of his method flrst letter which can be read as 'U' or 'B'. The name in the middle
of work enables
The instruction
from the arrow-
King Janaka ro get is ']anako raja', and that to the right 'Sivala devi', The has-relief
rid of Oueen Slvali apparently represents a scene of the Mahajanaka-]ataka (F. 539),
pursuing him. J k f d h d f f b d d
where Prince ana a per orme t e require eats o en ing an
unbending the great bow to be united to the beautiful and youthful Princess Slval1.
2
We fail to understand how the man seated to the left can be a royal personage.
He is apparently a person whose business it is to make and test arrows. The two
missing letters of the flrst name, as restored by Dr. Hultzsch, go to show that he is
I Barua Sinha No. 219. 2 Stlipa of Bharhut, p. 95.
39
!54 BAR HUT
an arrow-maker ( usukara ). He sits before a flre-pan, resting his feet on a piece of
stone, looking like a foot-stool at the door of a house. He is deeply engaged
in his work, baking an arrow in the flre-pan and straitening it, and carefully looking
at it, with his right eye opened and left eye closed, the arrow being slantingly held up,
grasping it with his two hands from two sides. King Janaka eagerly stands before
him, with his great personality upraising his right hand, bending his left hand and rais-
ing its foreflnger. His gait indicates that he has just reached the spot and halted, and
chanced upon a curious sight, while Queen Slvall is still pursuing and following him,
with the tressy folds of her beautiful head-dress hanging hehind and flapping, which
is expressive of her quick movements. We cannot but agree with Dr. Hultzsch in
identifying the scene with an episode of the Mahajanaka-Jataka, in which King Janaka,
Queen Slvali and an arrow-maker are the three actors. A similar episode, fetching
the same moral, occurs in the Santiparva of the Great Epic, Ch. 178/ The Jataka-
episode is as follows :-
King Janaka left the world to adopt the life of an ascetic. Queen Sivall
followed him as he was retiring. They entered a city, where the king going on his
begging round, reached the door of the house of an arrow-maker, while the queen
stood on one side. The arrow-maker was busy with his work. He heating an arrow
in a coal pan, melted it with some rice-gruel, and closing one eye, was looking with
other while he made the arrow straight. The King inquired, going up to him :
"One eye thou closest and dost gaze
with the other sideways.-is this right ?
I pray, exptain thy attitude ;
thinkest thou, it improves thy sight ?"
The arrow-maker replied :
"The wide horizon of both eyes serves
only to distract the view ;
But if you get a single line, your aim
is flxed, your vision true.''
After these words of advice, he was silent. minding his business, unmindful of
surroundings. The king got at last a true warning to be strong-minded. He said,
asking the queen to turn back :
"Here are two paths : do thou take one, the other by myselt take I ;
Call me not husband from henceforth, thou art no more my wife ; goodbye."
I Jacob's Lauk1ka-nyayaiijali, Part 11. 11. p. 11, under lshukarauyaya.
JAT K ~ SCENES
54. PI. XVIII. N. Gate. Corner Pillar [Scene 136] :-
Vitura-Punakiya-Jatakarh.
1
"The Jataka-episodes of Vidura and Purl)aka."
!55
The sculpture illustrating the Jataka-episodes of Vidura and Purl)aka fllls three
square panels, into which the whole outer side or face of a Return Corner pillar is
POrQaka Yaksha divided. The upper panel is subdivided by a Buddhist railing into two
getting possessior1 of halves, each of which appears as a separate panel containing the
the wise Vldura as representation of a distinct episode. We can say that the episodes
a prize of victory in
in a play at dice are distributed into four quadrangular panels of unequal size which can
with the Kuru-king, be named as the uppermost, the middle upper, the middle lower, and
cmies him into the the lowermost. CunninJham could well perceive that the panels are
presence of the
Naga king and the not put below one another to synchronise with the succession of the
Naga queen whose episodes as we flnd them narrated in the Pali Vidhura-Pal)l)ita- ]ataka
daughter he is (F. 545). He has tried to establish the synchronism by putting the
anxious to marry.
middle upper panel after the uppermost and the lowermost panel
before the middle lower. But our description will convince the reader that this is
possible only if we consider the four panels in this order : (I) the uppermost, (2) the
lowermost, (3) the middle lower, and (4) the middle upper.
(I) Uppermost Panel-Here, in the left half, there is a rocky mountain top,
where we see just three growing and two bears peeping out of the caves or holes.
A handsome Naga maiden stands in a dancing attitude on the right, singing out a
song which is listened and responded to by a young man. Though one of the trees
stands between them, there is no clear indication that the young man had concealed
himself under its cover before he came within the view of the young woman. But he
is represented as holding with his left hand a long scarf, suspended from the air, which
is clearly indicative of his descent from the high. The upper part of the single snake-
canopy that was over the head of the Naga maiden is broken off. She appears to be
female fhsure shown under the palace gateway. Here, in the left half, Cunningham
rightly sees a representation of the Kalagiri mountain on which the two lovers, the
Naga princess lrandatl or Arundhatl and the youthful Yaksha Purryaka met each other
for the first time.
(2) Lowermost Panel-Here is a royal palace of the Kuru-king Dhanafijaya
which shows small pinnacles on its roof and is provided in front with an outer
gateway opening out through a Buddhist railing. Two large ga1lands are hanging
I Barua Sinha, No. 220. 2 StJpa of Bharhut, p. 82.
156 BAR HUT
from its upper storey, and six ladies are seen peeping out through its two doorways
and through spaces between its pillars. The ladies are evidently watching some
situation before their eyes. The wise Vidiira with his dignifled appearance is gently
stepping out through the outer gateway, while PurQaka J:'aksha is soberly waiting out-
side with a caparisoned horse. About one third of this panel on the right is missing,
and it may be, as Cunningham suspects, that here was represented a scene of the
Kuru-king and the J:'aksha playing with dice, the latter defeating the former and
winning the possession of the Kuru-councillor Vidiira as a prize.
(3) Middle Lower Panel-Here Cunningham flnds several portions of the
story represented in continuous action. In the lower right corner he sees the J:'aksha
just beginning his aerial journey, which is continued further to the left where Vidura is
holding on by the tail of the flying steed, which is rapidly approaching the rocks and
forest of the Himalaya. In the upper right corner he sees the J:'aksha has seized
Vidiira by the feet and is dashing his head on the rocks, while in the upper left corner
Vidiira is standing by the side of the J:'aksha, and teaching him the Excellent Law of
Buddha, the precepts of which he enforces with his upraised hand.
1
The action is misunderstood. The four continuous phases of the story seem to
have been represented thus : (a) in the right lower corner the J:'aksha PurQaka has
come so far away in his aerial journey from lndraprastha, the Kuru-capital, carrying
the wise Vidura holding on by the tail of his flying horse, that he now appears by the
side of Kalagiri, the Black mountain, presenting the three growing trees on its summit ;
(b) in the upper right corner the J:'aksha remains holding the invincible Kuru-councillor
with his head downwards in the sky
3
(c) in the upper left corner the wise Vidura,
standing on the right and instructing the J:'aksha who is standing before him on the
left, strongly advises the latter to carry him to the residence of the Naga-king ; (d)
flnally, in the lower left corner the J:'aksha continues his aerial journey, carrying the
wise man.
(4) Middle Upper Panei-Cunningham vainly seeks to flnd here a scene of
the J:'aksha PurQaka coming into the presence of the king and queen of the Nagas to
ask their permission to marry their daughter Arundhatl. What we can actually see
in the left half are the outer gateway of the Na'ila-palace and the entry of Vidiira
evidently walking in behind PiirQaka. In the right half we see PurQaka standing,
with Vidura behind him, in the presence of the Naga-king VaruQa and the Naga-queen
Vimala who are seated on the left, side by side, on a couch, the queen on the left
hand side of the king. Cunningham rightly observes that the king has a flve-
I Stupa of Bharhut. p. 82.
JAT SCENES !57
headed snake-canopy and the queen has only one snake over her head. The king
with his upraised hand, is conversing with Purryaka Yaksha who is addressing him
with his hands crossed over his breast in an attitude of respect. The place of this
meeting of the four is certainly the interior of the royal residence of Varurya. We
must say with Cunningham that with this scene the sculptured illustrations of the
Vidhura-Pary<;lita-Jataka come to an end, as with the conversion of the Yaksha the real
story of the Jataka also ends, the marriage of the Naga princess to Purryaka and the
safe return of Vidura to lndraprastha being only the natural sequence of the previous
incidents, all of which have been clearly, although somewhat rudely, represented.
1
The commentary version of the Vidhura-Pary<;lita-Jataka has many details which do
not find place in the Barhut carving. The sculptor has evidently followed a simpler
story, which was even simpler than the Canonical version as we have it reproduced in
the commentary. The story may be narrated, in a relevant form, as foilows :-
The Bodhisat was then born as Vidura, the wise Kuru-councillor. There was
a Naga-king, named Varurya. The Naga-queen Vimala desired to have Vidura's heart
brought to her. "I shall die", she exclaimed, "If I do not get it." The Naga-king
employed his daughter, the Naga-princcss Arundhatl to seck out some husband who
could bring Vidura. She went forth m the night to the top of the Black Mountain
in the Himalaya where she, having danced a pleasant dance, sang a sweet song.
"What Gandharva or demon, Naga, Kimpurusa or man, or what sage, able, to grant
all desires, will be my husband the livelong night ?" At that time the Yaksha-gcncral
Plirryaka, the nephew of Vaisravarya Kuvera, as he was riding on a magic Sindh horse,
and hastening over the Black Mountain, heard that song of hers, and being fascinated
by it, turned back, and alighting on the mountain-top, addressed her, comforting
her, ") will be thy husband, I will be thy husband, 0 thou of faultless eyes : verily my
knowledge is such that I can bring you what thy heart desires." "Come then, let us
go to my father," she said, "he will explain this matter to thee." The Naga-king
told him that if he could bring the heart of Yidura, the far-farmed minister of
the Kuru-king Dhanafijaya, Arundhatl would surely be his lawful wife. Hearing these
words, the yaksha ordered his attendant to bring him his horse harnessed with gear of
ruby, and mail-armour of molten gold. He forthwith mounted the god-bearing steed
himself richly adorned and with his hair and beard well-trimmed, and went through
the sky. Thus having gone to lndraprastha, the Kuru-capital, the Yaksha engaged the
Kuru-king Dhanafijaya in gambling with dice, claiming the possession of Vidura as a
prize of victory. He defeated the Kuru-king in the play which was played in the
I Stopa of p. 82.
40
158 BARHUT
royal gaming-hall. Purryaka, addressing Vidura, said, "Come, I will now depart, you
are given to me by the king." "I know it, 0 youth," said the wise man, "let me lodge
thee just for three days in my home while I exhort my sons." Gladly assenting and
eagerly longing, the ':1. aksha went with Vidura came to take leave of the king, taking the
':f.akhsa with him. The king's wives and many other women burst into a bitter cry as he
walked out the place to go with Purryaka who was waiting for him. The ':f.aksha asked
him to take hold, without fear, of the tail of the noble horse, who went up into the
sky, carrying the seer, and soon reached the Black Mountain. The king knew
that the seer, wise, learned and skilful that he was, would safely return, setting himself
free. The ':f.aksha, setting him on the top of the Black Mountain, held him with his
head downwards into the sky, meaning to kill him and take his heart. "Hold me up
quickly" exclaimed the wise man, "if thou really needest my heart. I will tell thee
this day all the laws of the good man." Purryaka, holding him forthwith, set him
upon the summit of the mountain, and hearing the incomparable teaching of wisdom,
made up his mind to carry him back to lndraprastha. But Vidura insisted that he
must not be sent away to his own home but be carried to the residence of the Naga-
king. The yaksha obeyed him most reluctantly, and carried him to the place
of the Naga-king. When they reached there, the sage stood behind the ':f.aksha, and
the Naga-king, beholding the concord between them, inquired of Purryaka as to how
he successfully returned, bringing the sage of unequalled wisdom. Purryaka gently
replied, "As he himself is come, won by righteous means, it is better for you to hear
as he speaks before thee" Thus he introduced the wise man to the Naga-king.
The king turning to his wife Vimala, said, "He: for whom, 0 Vimala, you grew
pale, the sage, for the sake of whose heart this trouble came upon you, -listen well
to his words. you will never see him again." They listened to the words of the wise
man, and felt that the heart of sages was their wisdom. The king and his queen
gladly offered Arundhatl to Purryaka as his bride, and he carried her as well as the
sage, went back to his home, dropping the wise man in the city of lndraprastha.
55. PI. XXV. 3. [Scene 137] :-':f.avamajhakiyath Jatakam.
1
"The ':f.avamadhyaka Jataka-scene."
In the upper half of this medallon carving we see a pavilion which is ornamen-
ted. In the middle there is a throne-like seat, in which a strong-built man is seated
Mahaushadha dis- with his commanding personality, placing his left hand on the knee of
plays his ready wit f
and power of his le t leg, bending his right hand upward in front, and resting the
judgment. first four fingers on his precious necklace. His feet rest in his
I Brua sinha No. 221. (a)
!59
front on the carpet, the knees wide open, six men stand behind the great man
and on his two sides, three on each side. In the lower right corner one
elderly woman is forcing another woman to come into the presence of
the great man and the assembly. The other woman, whose face bears a
clear indication of her reluctance, is holding in her left hand a bunch of
thread-like substance. h ~ flrst woma:1 reappears in a second p0sition on the
right side of the gieat man, raising up her left hand, meaning to strike her with
a chauri-lie thing, and at the same time ruddy accusing her bdore the judge.
At the bottom we see three human h:.::ads peeping out through three basket holes.
lt seems that tw,:, human heads have been artfully shown twice, in two positions,
one by the side of the other in the flrst position, and one behind the other in the
second. In the lower left corner two men are carrying a cylindrical lvad in a net of
cords, hung from a banghi pole, which is here a stron6 log of wood, carefully held
up on the right shoulder of the flrst man who waiks ahead, and on the hands of the
second man behind. A third man carries a basket. These are the three tricky situa-
tions with which the great m a ~ is confronted. The Pali Maha-ummagga-Jataka
(F. 546), of which the Yavamadhyaka incidents form only one of the many episodes,
contains an account of several tricky situations which Mahaushadha, the wise son of
the Banker Srlvarddhaka, successfully dealt with. The story of Mahaushadha, relevant
to the Barhut scene, is as follows :-
At the four gates of Mithila, the capital of Videha, there were four
wheat-shaped market towns, called the East town, the South town, the West
town, and the North town. There lived a rich banker Srlvarddhaka, whose
wife was Lady Sumana. lt is in their family that the Bodhisat was born as
a son with a medicinal plant in his hand. It is for this reason that he was
named Mahaushadha or 'Great Medicine Man.' He who was as strong as an
elephant built a magnificent hall, where he used to sit and discuss the right and
wrong of the good or evil circumstances of all the petitioners who resorted there and
gave his judgment on each. lt became like the happy time when the world is blessed
with the advent of a Buddha. Now it happened that one day a certain woman went
to bathe in the great sage's tank, placing the ball of flne thread spun by him. Another
woman who came there put it in her lap, and walked off with it. The elder woman
seeing it, came quickly out of the water, seized hold of her dress, crying," You are
running away with the ball of cotton thread made by me.'' The other replied that
she was not taking anything of hers ; it was the ball which she made herself. The sage
hearing them quarrelling as they passed by the door of his hall, asked what
the noise was about. He sent for them both, and knew at once by her
160 BAR HUT
countenance who the thief was. He asked the thief, "When you made the ball,
what did you put inside"? "A cotton seed." Then he asked the other, and her reply
was, "A timbaru seed." He untwisted the ball of cotton and found a timbaru seed
inside and forced the thief to confess her guilt. The crowd that gathered round him
praised him for the way in which he decided the case.
In order to test his merit the king of Videha sent two heads, one of
a man and one of a woman, to be distinguished by the people of the East
town with a flne of a thousand pieces in case of failure. The villagers failing
to decide, asked the great being. He recognised them at once, and told which
was which. He knew it well that the sutures in a man's head are straight,
those in a woman's head are crooked. On a third occasion, the massage
from the king was, "':f. ou must send me a new tank covered with water
lilies of all flve kinds. The sage saw that a counter-question was wanted. He sent
for several men clever at speaking and directed them to go and play in the water till
their eyes were red, and wait upon the king with wet hair and garments and bodies
covered all over with mud, holding in your hands ropes, staves and clods, and then
say to him: "We have brought a great tank to suit your majesty's taste. She being used
to a life in the forest, no sooner saw the town with its walls, moats and watch-towers,
than she took fright and broke the ropes and went off into the forest. We tried but
could not make her come back. If you could give us the old tank which is said to have
been brought in from the forest, we would yoke them together and bring the other
back." The king being asked, replied that he never had a tank brought in from the
forest. The men, as instructed by the sage, said, "Sire, if that is so, how can the
people of East Town send you a tank ?"
56 (a). PI. Indian Museum. 116 [Scene 138]:-This presents the scene of
a royal park where a royal personage is 15iving away a royal elephant as a gift to an
ascetic who stands in the left holding a staff in his left hand. The
The B:ldhisat gives
away the royal existence of the park is indicated by the presence of a tree. The royal
elephant as a
8
,ft elephant stands characteristically under this tree, with a precious rug
to the Brahmin spread over his body and a precious net of jewels encircling his fore-
from
head and hanging over his eyes. The royal personage stands in the
middle, holding out the trunk of the elephant with his left hand and pouring water with
his right, out of a jug, upon the palm of the right hand of the ascetic, as a formal
act of signifying the gift. M. Foucher and Rai Bahadur Rama Prasad Chanda
identify the scene with one of the introductory episodes of the Vessantara-Jataka
(F. 547), in which Prince Vi:>vantara, is said to have given away the royal elephant
JATAKASCENES
161
of the Sivi kingdom as a gift to the Brahmins from Kalinga. But we flnd that the
subject of the sculpture is an episode which is common to two distinct Jatakas, viz.
the Kurudhamma (F. 276) and the Vessantara) (F. 547), and there is no inscription
to guide us in deciding as to which one of these two Jatakas is here meant.
We must, therefore, separately narrate the episode as it occurs in each of the two
Jatakas.
First, as to the episode in the Kurudhamma- Jataka. The Bodhisat then became
the righteous Kuru king who was famous throughout India for his piety and charitable
institutions. He possessed a state elephant that had the virtue of causing the rain to
fall during drought and famine. At this period a famine broke out in Kalinga on
account of drought and failure of crops. The king of Kalinga sent, in compliance
with the request of all the people in his kingdom, eight Brahmins to the righteous
Kuru king to ask for his state elephant. The Brahmins went, donning travelling garb,
and in due course reached the Kuru capital lndraprastha. On the full-moon day the
king of the city came out to inspect the six Almstalls which he built, one at each of
the four city-gates, one in the midst of the city and one at his own door. Washed
and anointed, all adorned and rarely arrayed, the king of the city mounted upon a
flne elephant richly caparisoned. When he inspected the Almstall at the eastern gate,
the Brahmins had had no chance of asking for the elephant. As the king departed
to the south gate and reached a rising ground not far from the gate, they raised their
hands, and hailed the king victorious. "Well, Brahmins, what is your wish ?" asked
the king, guiding his elephant to the place where they were. They told him what
their mission was. The king, dismounting, said to them, "If there is a spot on him
unadorned, I will adorn it and then give him to you." After satisfying himself about
adornment, the king put the trunk into the Brahmins' hands, besprinkled him with
water from a flne golden vase, and made him over to them. The Brahmins accepted
the elephant with his belongings, and returning to the capital, handed him over to the
king of Kalinga.
Secondly, as to the episode in the Vessantara-Jataka. The Bodhisat was then
born in the Sivi kingdom as Prince Visvantara and the son of King Saiijaya. He
built six Almstalls which he used to visit six times in each month, mounted upon his
magniflcent elephant. At that time there was drought in Kalinga, the crops failed,
and a great famine ensued. The king of this kingdom pledged himself to virtue and
kept the holiday vow, but he could not make the rain come. The citizens came and
said, "0 lord, Prince in the kingdom of Sivi has a glorious elephant all white, and
wherever he goes the rain falls. Send brahmins to ask for that elephant, and bring
41
162 BAR HUT
him hither." The king sent eight brahmins who started in the ascetic guise. As in the
preceding episode, the Brahmins received the Bodhisat' s elephant at the southern
gate of the city, mounted upon his back, and amidst a thronging multitude passed
through the city. The citizens were so very angry with the Prince for giving away
the elephant that they in a body waited upon the king, and compelled him to banish
his son from his kingdom to the Vakra mountain.
In the Barhut sculpture only one Brahmin in the ascetic guise is to be seen. In
it neither the citygate nor the Almstall is represented.
57 (b) Unphotographed Jataka-Scene [Mining] :-On the remains of
a Corner Pillar of one of the missing Gateways Cunningham was able to trace
the remaining portion of a Jataka-scene presenting a four-horse
Prince V1svantara b d J b J d b h d 1 Th d f
chariot with a oy an a gir eing e y t e han . e episo e o
departs to Vakra
mountain, wnh his the ]ataka with which he would identify this seene relates :-
w1fe and boy and
girl, in a four-horse
King Safijaya passed the order of banishment upon his son, the
noble Prince Visvantara. A gorgeous chariot with a team of four
Sindh horses stood at his door. His wife Madrl with her boy and
girl went before him and took her place in the chariot. On his way the Vakra
mountain, the Bodhisat gave away the four horses to four Brahmins who asked for
them. The chariot was then being drawn by four red deer, As he drove on, came
another Brahmin, asking for his chariot. He gave him the chariot, and dismounting
his wife and children therefrom, went on foot. They took up the two children,
and carried them on their hips, he took the boy and his wife took the girl.
chariot,
57 (c) PI. XLVIII 11 [Scene 140] :-Jabu No<Jode pavate.
2
"Rose-apple trees on Mt. Narada."
Here Cunningham sees a man receiving both meat and drink from the two
hands which project from the trunk of a tree. In one hand is a bowl filled
with solid food, and in the other a water-vessel with handle and
The faithful couple h h
in t e ot er a water-vessel with handle and spout like a tea-kettle.
3
live on Mt. Narada;
the w1fe gathers
fru1t; from the
wood and feeds the
husband.
bowl-holder,
The incised label leads us to look here for a scene of rose-apple
trees on Mt. Narada, and we actually see one rose-apple tree
represented in the left. A man sits down in the middle on a
put upside down, facing this tree. Two human hands are
I Stupa of Bharhut, Preface, p. vi. 2 Barua Sinho, No. 222. 3 Stopa of Bharhut, p. 98.
JA T AKA-SCENES
163
stretched forth from the back side of the tree, the right hand holding out a
water-jug provided with a handle and a spout, and the left hand holding
out bowl filled with edibles. One may suspect that some invisible tree-spirit
mysteriously projects the hands to wash the hand of the man in front with water
poured out of the jug and gives him the edibles to eat. But the fact seems to
be that the body of the human bein<fl remains hidden behind the tree, and cannot,
therefore, be seen. This human being is evidently no other than one seen behind
the man, walking down the mountain with a fruit-basket, held up in the right hand.
Though a turban is worn on the head, this human figure appears to be a woman
whose breast is tightly wrapped, as that of a hill woman, by the folds of her cloth.
She casts lingering books as she goes into the forest to gather fruits. We differ from
both Cunningham and Hoernle
1
in thinking that this scene has no connexion with
the one with the labei-Va<Juko katha dohati Na<Jode pavate. Though about one
third in the right side of the Coping-panel containing this scene is missing,
there is little doubt that the illustrated story is an episode of the Sambula Jataka
(F. 519), or that of the Vessantara-Jataka (F. 547) preferably that of the latter.
The episode as it occurs in the two Jatakas is as follows :-
First, as in the Sambula-Jataka. Prince Svastisena, the son of the king of
Benares, being attacked with an incurable leprosy, retired into a wild forest to
perish there. His wife Sambula accompanied him. They built a leaf-hut, and
took up their abode in a shady and well-watered spot, where wild fruit abounded.
The royal lady kept watch over him, carefully attending and nursing him. After
finishing her morning duties, furnishing him with a tooth-stick and water to wash
his mouth, anointing his sores with various simples she prepared, and giving him
luscious fruits to eat, she used to go into the forest, saluting him and asking him to
be earnest in well-doing. She would go putting on her bark garment, taking a basket,
a spade and a hook to gather wild fruits and set the basket of fruits on one side
when she returned. She would then offer him water in a jar to wash, and wild fruit
to eat. When he had finished his meal, she would bring him scented water and
herself partake of fruit. Thus she watched over her husband till he was completely
cured, and returned to Benares when her husband became the king and she his queen
consort. But after gainin3 the sovereignty, he began to neglect her, forgetting that
she stood by him alone when his condition was miserable. She well anticipated
her fate when, on returning from the forest and seeing a mountain of gold, she
I Hoernle's Readings, No. 8 in IV, Vol. X. and XI.
164
BAR HUT
asked him if he would share it with her and he bluntly refused to do so. She
afterwards expressed this fact in words that probably form the text of one of the
Barhut labels-Dusito giri dadati na.
Secondly. as in the Vessantara-Jataka. On coming to the Vakra range with
his wife Madri and two children, he took up his abode in a hermitage which he
found there. He putting off his bow and sword, put on the ascetic garments. Madrl,
and her children likewise donned the ascetic dress. Madri watched over them in the
manner of Sambiila. Thus they lived for seven months in the recesses of the moun-
tain. One day, as she was going into the forest with her basket and tools to gather
fruits and roots, she embraced and kissed her children and said, "Last night I had bad
dream ; be careful, dears t" Before she had left the hermitage, she begged her
husband to take care of her children. Now taking advantage of her absence, the
wicked Brahmin, }iijaka by name, came to Visvantara, and asked him for his children.
The children he gave him, and with them he quickly went away. Madri returned to
the hermitage with her basket and edibles, and was thunderstruck not to see her
children there. She inquired about them from her husband who remaind silent. She
looked about, and searched for them under the rose-apple and other trees, in all places
where they used to play. As she was looking for them, she lamented,
saying-
"These clusters of nose-apple trees, that droop
around the mere,
And all the fruitage of the woods, my children
are not here !"
But when she was told that he gave away their children as a gift to a Brahmin
during her absence, she rejoiced and approved of the gift, whereupon the mighty
earth shook and trembled, and it is said-
"Then Narada and Pabbata both greatly did rejoice,
~ e a all the Three and Thirty Gods with lndra, at that voice."
58. PI. Indian Museum. Coping Panel. Fragment [Scene 141] :-
Scene of an un-
known Jataka
Here we see a hermitage where a hermit is seated cross-
legged on a seat appearing to be a square slab of stone, confronting a
tree, of which the bare outline now remains. In the absense of other
particulars the scene cannot be identified with any known Jataka.
JA T AKA-SCENES
iii (b). EPISODES OUTSIDE THE SCOPE OF FAUSBOL'S JATAKA.-
1. Pis. XV. S. Gate. Prasenajit Pillar. Lower Bas releif.
Inner Face. XXX. 2 [Scene 142] :-
Bahuhathiko.1
Bahuhathiko Nigodho Naqode.
2
Susupalo Koqayo, Vequko aramako.
3
"Bahuhastika-the scene of many elephants."
"The holy Banyan with many elephants on Mt. Narada."
165
"Sisupala-the fort-keeper (forest-owner), Veryuka-the gardener (forester)."
Here Cunningham notices a very curious scene of a herd of wild elephants
paying their devotions to a Bodhi-tree. The tree, he says, is easily recognisable
fo, as a Banyan by its long pendent shoots. This identifkation is con-
.:.tsupala and Ver;tuka
at a Banyan shrinP. firmed by the name of the tree, Nyagrodha, occuring in the accom-
worshipped by a paying incised label. In front of the tree is the usual throne, Bodhi-
herd of elei-'hants d b f h h J h Jd d k J T h
on Mt. Narada. maQ ,a, e ore w IC e ep ants, o an young, are nee mg. o t e
right and left other elephants are bringing garlands to hang on the
branches of the tree. In the upper left corner there is a second tree, and to the right,
where the stone is broken, a male figure with joined hands the who le scene.
If this tree represents a Bodhi-tree, it must be that of the Buddha Kasyapa. Though
the object of reverence is a Bodhi-tree. the whole scene appears to be exactly the
same as that of worship of the deserted Stupa of Ramagrama by a herd of elephants,
described by Fa-Hian and Hwen Thsang, particularly by the elder Chinese pilgrim.
"Ever and anon", to quote Fa-Hian," a herd of elephants, carrying water in their
trunks, piously watered the ground, and also brought all sorts of flowers and perfumes
to pay religious worship at the Tower. Buddhist pilgrims from all countries come
here to pay their vows, and worship at the shrine. On one occasion, some of these
met the elephants, and being very much frightened, concealed themselves amongst the
trees. They then saw the elephants perform their services according to the Law."
Cunninghan thinks that the single man concealing himself amongst the trees is intended
to represent the frightened pilgrim, who watches the spontaneous offerings made by
the wild elephants.
4
We are not convinced that the tree is a Bodhi-tree or the throne is a
Bodhimaryqa. The elephants are not certainly bringing garlands. The hanging objects
which two of the elephants, on two sides, have grasped with their trunks are two
1-3 Barua Sinha, Nos. 214-216. 4 StOpa of Bharhut, p. 115.
42
166 BARHUT
aerial roots, branching off and forming bunches at their lower extremities. There
is no tree in the upper left corner ; it is only a bamboo cluster. The scene presents
not one human figure but two, one of whom, no doubt the man in front, is
the forest-owner, and the other behind him is VeQuka the forester. The latter name,
VeQuka or Bamboo-man, is quite appropriate to a scene marked by a cluster of
bamboos. In fact, the scene is that of a royal forest on Mt. Narada, where bamboos
grew up in large numbers. It was in this forest-region that the sacred Banyan shrine,
frequented, worshipped and guarded by a herd of wild elephants, was situated. If the
shrine was a Bodhi-tree with a BodhimaQQa, we would have seen garlands either
hanging from the tree or at least offered on the throne. The head of the man in front
is completely broken off and missing, and only the turban of the second man now
remains. The flrst man appears with joined hands, held before his eyes. The action
of the second man cannot be ascertained. But it is certain that here the representa-
tion is one of pre-Buddhistic Indian Tree-worship, replaced in Buddhism by the
worship of the Bodhi-tree. The story presupposed seems to have been a different
version of the MahavaQija-Jataka (f. 493), in which the forest-owner and forester
were substituted for the caravan merchants, and nagas in the sense of elephants
for nagas in the sense of dragons or serpents. The Mahavanija-story
contains the full description of a wonderful huge Banyan tree, which grew up in a
wild forest and was haunted and guarded by dragons-nagapariggahita-nigrodha-
rukkha, an expression squaring with bahuhathikanigrodha of the Barhut label.
The leaves of this tree, as described in the Jataka, were all glossy as though wet with
water. Its branches were full of water. Water could be seen running through it.
Cutting off a branch of it facing the east, one could get an ample supply of drinking
water. Cutting a branch on the southern side, one could obtain all manner of choice
food. Cutting a branch on the west side, one could enjoy the company of fair and
beautiously adorned women. And lastly, cutting one of the northern branches, one
could procure flve hundred cartloads of the seven things of price. These were all
gifts of favour from the rich Dragon-chief. Those whose greed led them to cut the
tree to the root were violently attacked by the furious dragon-army and utterly
destroyed. According to the }ataka, this Banyan tree graced a wild forest near
Benares. In by-gone times some caravan merchants under the guidance of the
Bodhisat, their chief, losing their way, aimlessly traversed this forest, without food and
drink, till they came to the spot where the Banyan tree was. They were lucky to
obtain all precious and enjoyable things in the dreary and waterless region. They
thought they could get more by cutting the tree by the root. The Bodhisat, their
wise chief, dissuaded them from this cruel wanton deed. But they being many, and
167
he being one, his voice proved to be feeble. They struck the whetted axes in to fell
the tree by the root, with the consequence that armed dragon soldiers rushed forth to
decimate them. The dragon-army took care to save the caravan chief, who was
safely conveyed to his house with all the precious goods.
Going by the analogy of this Jataka, we can attempt this twofold construction
of the Barhut story : either {I) that of the two men, one refraining from harming the
life of the tree, was saved, and the other meaning to cut it by the root, was attacked
and trampled by the wild elephants guarding it ; or (2) that both of them enjoyed
the gifts, keeping themselves above greed. But it may also be that the representation
is of a simple story in which the forest owner, was very pleased to be led
by Vet:mka, the forester, who knew the way, to this sacred spot, where he mi<5ht watch
the herd of wild elephants paying worship at the Banyan shrine, and fill his own heart
with deep devotional feelings.
2. PI. XLII. 7. I Scene 143] :-Here Cunningham notices one man and one
woman standing together in a courtyard surrounded on three sides by houses, the
woman holding out a flat basket or tray, into which the man is
Honey-seller's
offaing to a emptying the contents of a round basket, while a second man is
Pratyeka-Bu::ldha. standing outside the house to the right with his banghi-load of two
baskets placed on the ground. He thinks the arragement of the houses agrees with
Valmlki' s description of Rama' s dwelling place at PanchavatV
We really cannot forgive Cunningham for his Ramayanic bias, and still less for
his mistake of a man for a woman. But this is not to deny that the man standing
apparently on the courtyard is emptying the contents of a receptacle of cylinderical
shape into a flat-basket-like tray or pot held out by another man to the left, who
is sitting cross-legged and at ease, in erect posture, with his dignified and calm
appearance. The peculiarity of his garments cannot be discerned. lt is certain that
he wears no ornaments on his person, and no head-dress. He is evidently an
ascetic of a brilliant type, of which there is no parallel in the Barhut representation.
His distinctive feature is the absence of matted hair. In an apparent view, his hair,
which is not very long, is parted in two and gracefully arranged on two sides of his
head. The first man seems to make an offering to the holy man within the homestead
and his action is being grimly watched from outside by another, apparently related
to him, He is seen standing outside to the ri5ht, holding up with his left hand one
extremity of the banghi-pole, on which he carried a load of two open-mouthed large
pots covered by two lids and laid at rest. The expression of the up raised forenn<5er
I Stopa of Bharhut, p. 100.
168
BARHUT
of his right hand signiRes an attitude of resentment or disapproval. The pots are
seemingly Rt receptacles for some liquid substance. What is the story illustrated in
this scene?
If the attitude of the man standing outside be one of resentment or disapproval,
the scene cannot be taken to be an artistic counterpart of the well-known Buddhist
story of T rapusha and Bhalluka, or of an older prototype of it. Had it been the
representation of a scene from this story, it would have shown both the men offering
the gift jointly. Further, this story has no indication that the lumpy honey-cakes
offered had to be carried as a banghi-load. Thus we are compelled to Rnd out a
different Buddhist story which can explain the observed points. In looking for it
we chance upon just one story in Pali describing an incident of the previous birth of
King his nephew Nigrodha and his preceptor Tissa.
The story relates that these three were born in a former birth as three brothers,
who became dealers in honey. They put up a shop in a city-market. The elder
brothers used to procure honey, while the youngest brother did the work of sale-man.
One Pratyeka Buddha or Egotistic Seer or Truth became ill with boils. For him
another Pratyeka Buddha, who was his comrade, entered the city for honey in
the usual manner of going the round for alms. He came to the honey-shop
belonging to the trader brothers. The brother whose business it was to do the duty
of a sale-man was pleased to make an offering of honey, pouring it into the alms-
bowl of the Buddha. The honey offered not only Riled the bowl but overflowed
and fell on the ground. Rejoicing over this, he made a solemn resolve to become
a sovereign lord of India in this future birth. At this moment his elder brothers
arrived on the spot carrying with them honey which they went to procure. He
asked them to approve of the gift made by him saying that the honey given away
was really due to them. His eldest brother being displeased, remarked : "The
man to whom you have offered our honey must surely be a chaQ<;Iala or outcast,
for the chaQ<;Ialas usually put on such yellow robes." His second brother even went
a step further in his invective : "Better cast him on the other shore of the ocean !"
But his solemn utterance to the effect of making over the merit induced them at last
to give their approval. This youngest brother was reborn as King

It is not easy to ascertain if the story as known to the Barhut sculptor was
then connected with King though some such story must be at the back of
the illustrated scene.
2
I Dipava!Jlsa, Chap. V ; Mahava!Jlsa, Chap. V ; etc.
2 The Pali Apadana story of Madhupir;>qtka (No. 97) introduces only one character, the honey-seller who
made the offering.
JATAKASCENES 169
3. PI. XLVIII. 9. [Scene 144] :-Vaquko katha dohati Naqode pavate.
1
"Vaquka is extracting the juicy balm on Mt. Narada."
This is the basrelief in which Cunningham notices some large rocks to
the right, to the left an ornamental bag or a skin suspended from two
Juicy balm on Mt. pegs, and in the middle a man seated in front of the bag, the ends
Narada. of which he holds as if he is in the act of milking.
2
This description can hardly sufHce to make out the story explaining the details.
On the right side, we see a tree, which is fairly tall, consisting of several stems,
clustered together, looking like a creeping plant, with a big foliage of bushy growth
at the top. lt appears that the two outer stems in front have been cut to form two
pegs connected by a piece of carpet-shaped linen, long enough to reach down the
hands of a man sitting on his heels on the ground, at the foot of the tree. The
lower part of the linen shows two ends resembling the pennons or streamers of a
flag. The man is simply holding the two ends and drawing them together as a
device of compelling the juice to tickle down and flow in one stream so as to flll
the skin bag or vase below. The large pieces of rock referred to by Cunningham,
bear some auspicious marks symbolising the sacredness of Mt. Naqoda or Narada,
where the scene has been laid. Here, perhaps, we have an artistic representation of
the scene from the story, similar to that of Vaqika in the Avadana-Sataka.
Vaqika, the Bodhisat, then born as a banker's son, became a long sufferer
from a skin disease. He tried in vain all available remedies. Seeing that all the
best physicians could not give him any relief, he despaired of cure and became
dejected in spirit. But there was a compassionate Buddha who took pity on him
and came to his rescue. The Buddha came to see him of his own accord and
thought of having a juicy balm procured for him from Mt. Gandhamadana. Sakra,
the thunder-bearer, proceeded forthwith towards the distant mountain and fetched
the balm extracted from a medicinal plant, called Kshlrikaviksha, and handed it to the
great healer of mankind. The balm was applied as a remedy for his physical malady.
As for his mental malady, the ready-made balm was found in the gentle instruction
of the Buddha, who took leave of his patient after having predicted his future
greatness as Buddha Sakyamuni.
Coming back to the scene itself, we flnd that Vaquka or Vaqiuka himself is in
the act of extracting the balm.
I Barua Sinha, No. 223. 2 Stopa of Bharhut, p. 98.
43
170 BARHUT
4. PI. XLII. [Scene 145] :-Here Cunningham sees four men, two seated
and two standing. Two of them are dressed in the usual costume of most of the
Th J
- k Barhut figures. The other two have peculiar flat caps on their heads,
e ata a-scene
of bargaming in pur- apparently ornamented with feathers and broad collars of leaves
chasing plantain or round their necks, and they may be taken to be foreign merchants
banana frJm a shop. d d J
who have to eal with the two home merchants that are seate , n
front of the latter are two baskets and a number of objects which look like elephant's
tusks and the chauri tails of the yak. The two foreign merchants are engaged in
close conversation, the subject of which is the price of the tusks and chauri
tails.
1
In the upper part of the middle portion of this Coping panel we see two well-
covered cylinderical baskets, of which the contents, as shown in the lower part, are
bunches of plantain or banana, separated from the main stalk. The dealer or shop-
keeper, seated cross-legged to the right, is directing his assistant to show the things
to the customer or customers who stand before the shop. His assistant, standing
behind him, is seen to be busy taking the bunches of plantain or banana out of one
of the two baskets before him. It is likely that the same two baskets have been
shown twice ; and the same one man has been represented in two places and
postures. The customer, who is apparently a man of high social position, stands
with his superior dignity at a little distance from the shop, conversing with another
man who stands to the right, facing him and turning his back upon the bananas
and baskets. Both are dressed alike. The flat caps and costume distinguish
them from the remaining Barhut male figures. They put on, over the dhoti, a thin
cloak with sleeves that show a fine embroidery work in the part over the arm. The
cloak is closely tied to the body by means of a twisted string, passing crosswise over
the shoulders. The distinguished customer, holding up a bunch of banana in his left
hand is asking, as indicated by the attitude of his right hand and forefinger, the other
man to tell him its price, and the other man, holding up the bunch in his right hand,
is telling its price, the demanded price being shown up in the shape of coins in the
palm of his left hand. If the second man be the seller, the sculptured story would
seem to be one like the Chullakasetthi-]ataka (F, 4) in which a poor man's son is said
to have amassed a great fortune by working up a small capital, getting all the
producers of suppliers to concentrate their things in one place and sell them to him,
thus enabling him to monopolise and sell at a high price. If the second man be the
customer's companion, the story may be one like the GaQQatindu-Jataka (F. 520) in
I StOp a of Bharhut, p. I 00.
JA T K ~ SCENES 171
which a king is said to have gone out on a tour of inspection. taking his minister with
him, and ascertained the condition of the people within his realm.
5. PI. XXXIV. 3. [Scene 146] :-The scene is carved in a half-medallion
at the top of a railing-pillar apparently serving a decorative purpose. lt presents,
Hunter kt!ls boar as noticed by Cunningham; two dogs that look like the present hill
with the help of his dogs, with straight ears and bushy tails that curl over on to their
dogs. backs.
1
They are set upon a boar by a hunter who stands in the
middle holding a spear in his left hand and placing his right hand on the back of
the dog in his front. The hunter appears as a heavy-built and short-statured savage.
His head-dress differs from that of other male figures. lt looks more like a cap
than a turban or tiara. The boar is attacked by the dogs from two sides, front
and rear, while the hunter taking advantage of the position, pierces it on the back of
its neck with his spear. He appears to encourage the dog in his front by patting its
back with his right hand.
The bas-relief, as it is, does not convey a complete story. lt depicts at most
a hunting scene, the killing of boars by setting dogs upon them. But here we have
certainly an artistic illustration of the hunting method of a 'savage-dog-hunter', as he
is described in the Koka-sunakha-luddaka- Vatthu of the Dhammapada-Commentary.
6. PI. XXXV. 2. [Scene 147] :-Himani
1
This is an interesting medallion-carving, of which the right half is badly damaged.
Two men lying in The left half bears a heading, of which just three letters now survive.
close embrace in This portion presents a curious scene, where two men with the same
snow, handsome appearance and calm facial expression are lying on the
ground, embracing each other, placing neck upon neck and intertwining their upper
legs. Behind the back of each, there is a row of small flower-like objects, which, if
these be snow-flakes, would signify that the men are sleeping on a snowy ground and
embracing each other as a means of putting off the cold. The scene, as it is, betrays
only a decorative purpose.
7. PI. XXXIII. 1-3. [Scene I 48] :-This is just another instance, where
scenes belonging to one continuous story are placed not contiguously, but wide apart.
Monkeys capture The scenes are three in number. all of which are depicted in medallions,
and triumph:wly with an element of humour or comic about them. In all of them an
drag an elephant d
to extract the elephant an a troop of monkeys are the actors, and this common
giant"s teeth. feature suffices to establish their identity as integral parts of the same
story. The scheme is worked out progressively, the culmination being reached
I Stupa of Bharhut. p. 44. 2 Barua Sinha No. 221.
172 BAR HUT
in the third scene, with a gaint as an added character. The first two scenes,
as noticed by Cunningham. represent the capture of an elephant by the monkeys, who
lead him along in a sort of triumphal procession. They ocupy the two opposite faces
of the same Rail-bar in S. W. quadrant. Both the designs, to continue Cunningham' s
observations, are conceived with much spirit, though workmanship is not equal to the
intention. The left hind leg of each elephant is faulty, and there is too much same-
ness in the attitudes of the monkeys in the first scene. In the second scene, all the five
monkeys are in different attitudes, each of which is a natural one. This attention to
nature aswellas to art in varrying the attitudes shows that the old Indian sculptor had at
least some of the instincts of a true artist. These two scenes seem to be undoubtedly
the work of the same sculptor. There is much less spirit in the third scene found in a
different quadrant. The same monkeys figure over again, but with less action, and the
general effect is comparatively tame. The best figure is that of the monkey who is
putting on the palm of the giant's right hand a tooth, extracted by a forceps. We
cannot agree with Cunningham in thinking that the monkey is piercing or cutting the
the gaint's hand. But it is undisputable that his fixed and grave expression is good,
and that his attitude, with the legs drawn in and resting on the toes, marks his eager
attention to the work in hand. In Cunningham' s opinion, the figure of the giant
is badly drawn, and his supine listlessness is suggestive rather of having his nose
tickled than of having a tooth violently tugged by a forceps worked by the elephant.
The stiff position of the giant must not lead one to conclude that he is bound to his
seat. The band round his stomach certainly looks like a girdle of rope. The loose
thick band round his neck is apparently a necklace, and not a rope. leaving aside
these small points of difference, the scenes can be well described as follows, in the
words of Cunningham, whose classic on the Barhut Stiipa shall ever remain a grand
exhibition of the success and failure of a great pioneer :-
In the first scene four monkeys are employed in dragging along a captive
elephant, who is carefully secured by strong ropes from doing any mischief. A billet
of wood is fastened along the back of his trunk to restrain its action, while a rope
tied to his tail is carried between his legs and passed round the root of his trunk. The
leading monkey in front of the elephant has the end of the rope over his right arm,
while he shoulders the t i k u ~ or elephant-goad, which is grasped with both hands.
Three other monkeys drag separate ropes which are passed over their shoulders after
the fashion of boatmen in towing a boat. From the end of the last monkey's rope
hang the two bells, which had formerly dangled from the elephant's sides. In front of
all are two monkey musicians, one playing a drum which is suspended from his neck,
and the other sounding a shell which is attached to the end of a long rope.
JATAKASCENES 173
The second scene represents the same story in a more advanced stage. The
elephant is still seen marching along, but he is no longer dragged by his monkey
captors, who, with the exception of the musician:;, have all mounted on his back.
The leading monkey with the anku!ia is now seated on the animal's back, and is
driving the goad with both hands into his head. A second monkey stands
on one of the elephant's tusks, facing the driver, whom he is energetically
addressing. Two other monkeys are seated behind the driver, while a fifth holds
on by his hands to the rope passing under the elephant's tail and fixes his feet
on the animal's rump after the very common fashion of an elephant coolie. The
drummer still trudges in front and the shell-blower alongside, but a third monkey
has joined the musicians as a player of cymbals.
The third scene is another circular medallion representing an elephant and
with the addition of a gaint, who is the principal figure in the composition. He is
just twice the height of the elephant. He is seated on a low-backed chair (better,
stone-seat), with his feet on a foot-stool. He has the usual royal head-dress,
earrings, bracelets, and necklace, and is naked as far as the waist. His right arm
hangs straight down his side, but his left arm is extended towards a monkey steated a
a low stool in front, with the palm of the hand turned upwards, upon which the
monkey is placing an extracted tooth with a pincer. A second monkey is pulling
out one of the giant's teeth with a large forceps, which is secured to an elephant
by a long rope. A third monkey is driving the goad into the back of the elephant's
head to make him go quickly, whilst a fourth monkey is biting the animal's tail and
beating him with a stick for the same purpose. Above there is a fifth monkey
playing a drum, and below them is a sixth blowing a very large shell.
Such is the most charming and graphic description of the scenes attempted
by Cunningham.
1
The story presupposed is a simple one. The Bodhisat being once
born as a monkey-king, lived with a large number of followers in a forest region.
In roaming about, they entered a woodland which was in possession of a
giant, who was troubled with the pain of tooth-ache. He expressed his desire to
masticate and devour the monkeys, and would let them off if they could relieve him
immediately of the pain by pulling his teeth. It was no easy task for the monkeys.
They under the guidance of their wise leader managed to get hold of an elephant,
whom they led out from a royal stable, and leading him along in a triumphant
procession, brought him to work the forceps, whereby they pulled the giant's
teeth.
l Stupa of Bharhut, pp. 104-105.
44
174 BAR HUT
8. PI. XL. 2-5 (Scene 10] :-These four bas-reliefs occupy four contiguous
panels on the coping, apparently contrary to the usual arrangement of alternate
scenes and ornaments. Whether these present one story or more
is a disputed point. Apparently these present one story. At all
the Btrd-Hell for the events, as Cunningham holds, they do not represent more than two
s u f f ~ r torments in
sin of potsOo1ing
stories. In the flrst scene on the left he notices a tall tree between
two women, one of whom, the woman to the left, apparently a
servant, is cutting some standing corn, while the other to the right, presumably
the mistress, is seated on the ground beside a large vessel, which is a common
earthen chula or fireplace. The scene, as he interprets it, is that of a woman cutting
corn for another woman to cook. In the next scene to the right he sees the
mistress of the former scene seated on the ground beside a man, both engaged in
eating some broad flat cakes, which are being presented to them by the female
servant. He suggests that these two scenes may have belonged to one story.
In the third scene to the right he flnds four actors, a man and a woman, a boy
and a girl, beneath a tree, which stands in the middle with large garlands hanging
on all sides of it, the boy and the girl lying on mattresses spread on the ground,
the man and the woman standing and bending forward, the former towards the girl
and the latter towards the boy, administering poison to them with long spoons.
The fourth scene on the right hand shows, according to his description, two gigantic
birds carrying off the dead bodies of the man and the woman of the previous scene,
by the hair of their heads, in a charnel-Held, where their dead bodies were exposed,
as a punishement for having tortured the children.
1
innocent people.
Cunningham' s explanations of the details of the four scenes, in spite of their
suggestiveness, are defective. There is no reason to suspect that the four scenes
occupying the four continuous panels belong to one continuous story. This fact of
singleness of the story may be ascertained from the occurrence of the same tree-like
construction in the flrst three scenes. The human flgure to the left of the man in the
middle could not be mistaken for a woman. The tree-like thing is certainly not a
tree. It is a shed on a wooden post supporting a well-thatched and umbrella-shaped
roof. The flrst scene does not represent two women but only one woman doing a
twofold work. In the flrst instance, she is extracting the juice of a poisonous shrub
before her. Next she is waiting to put that juice into the pot in which she is cooling
rice or something like it on an oven to the right. This twofold action of hers is
presented on two sides of the wooden post of the shed. Coming to the next scene
I Stapa of Bharhut, pp. 98-99.
~
175
to the right we at once notice the woman of the former scene engaged in serving food
from the dangerous pot to a man, presumably her husband, while another man to his
left, is holding a dish lifted up towards the man in the middle. The purpose of his
action is apparently to convince the other man of the harmlessness of the food served
by the woman. One dish is placed on his lap from which he was to eat. But he is
not actually eating. His right hand is held above the dish. lt seems that he has
come to apprehegd something fatal in the food. The third scene clearly shows that
the woman has got rid of her husband with the help of the second man, who must
have been a trusted servant or friend in intrigue with her. He was a wicked man.
He was not satisfied by having got rid of the woman's husband but prevailed so far
upon her as to make her agree to put her two children, one boy and one girl, to death
by means of poison. The scene under notice exhibits actual performance of the
inhuman cruelty. lt intensifies the horror of the tragedy by the device of representing
the woman as instrumental to the death of the boy, and the man as instrumental to
the death of the girl. Then follows the fourth or last scene representing the nemesis of
the whole act. The scene gives a picture of sufferings of the sinners in the region of
the crow-infested-hell (Kakola-niraya) as it is called, where two ravenous birds of
prey, resembling two wild crows, kites or hawks, are eating them away, beginning
from the head downwards. The whole scene is a reduplication of an Indian charnel-
field, thereby showjng that the whole conception was of an anthropomorphic orlijln.
1
The literary counterpart of the complete story as made out above cannot be
traced. There is only one Jataka containing a suggestive approach to the second
scene, and there is another Jataka-story with a similar approach to the two middle
scenes. The approach to the second scene is to be found in the Uchchhittha-bhatta-
Jataka (F. 212), which narrates how the iniquitous wife of a man tried in a hurry to
I This may be made clear by the close resemblance as shown below, between the description of a charnel-field
and a Btrd-hell :-
(a) Fate of a man lying dead on a Charnel-field-
Khadanti narp supal)a cha sigala cha vaka. ktmi, kaka gijjha cha khadanti ye ea ai'ii'ia santi pan.)yo.
(Sutta-Ntpata, Vtjaya-Sutta).
(b) FJ.te of a sinner sufferin;: in a Bird-Hell-
lto gate dakk!lasi tattha raja
Kakolasanghehi p1 kacjcjhamanarp,
T arp khajjamanarp niraye vasantarp,
Kakehi &'i1heh1 cha senakehi
Samchinnagattarp ruhirarp savantarp.
(F. Jatka, V. p, 2461.
176 BARHUT
conceal the fact of another man hiding himself in the store-room after having been
served, at meal-time, with fresh-boiled rice, by setting before her husband the same
dish with cold leavings of the other man, covered up with some hot rice, but her
husband could detect the wrongfulness of her act by testing the rice with his hand and
feeling how the hot was above the cold, while a tumbler, who was waiting at the
door for a morsel, revealed the secrets to him. The second story containing suggest-
ive details corresponding to the two middle scenes forms a sort of interlude in the
Commentary-version of the Mahaummagga-Jataka (F. 546), narrating how a queen
intriguing with the Brahmin Purohita, killed her husband by poison, and was after-
wards instigated by the Purohit, installed in the throne even to put her son to death.
She, unlike the woman of the bas-relief, could not carry it into practice, as her
affection for her son was too strong for her.
SECTION Ill
OUTLINE OF BUDDHA'S LIFE
1. PI. VI. E. Gateway. [Scene 13] :-Quite apart from the general
Railing scheme, there is to be noticed a rough outline of Buddha Sakyamuni' s life on
the ornamented arch of E. Gateway, where symbolism plays the most important part.
This outline is placed between the gaping mouths of three pairs of crocodiles on the
outer ends of three architraves, and this symbolism is desi-sned to represent the world
as a fearful state of things, the safest way out of which is refuge in the Buddhist
Holy Triad, the Buddha, the Law and the Order. Of the Triad, there are two similar
symbols, of three arms each, somewhat different from those of a trident, each of the
symbols crO\vning the upper pillar of the gateway and set upon a full-blown lotus and
an abacus of square altars below it. The mechanism of the symbols is very simple.
Each of them is lllade up of two upward tails of the makara forming two small
semi-circles and ioined together with an upward pointed elevation at the base. The
outline itself COillprises the following incidents : the Advent, the Renunciation, the
Enlightenment, the First Sermon and the Great Decease.
1. The Advent is represented by two magnifkent palaces or mansions,
one above the other, the upper one being the T ushita and the lower
one the palace of Suddhodhana, with a throne in the centre, usually
canopied by an umbrella with hanging garlands.
2. The Renunciation is represented by two horses on two extremities of the
upper edge of the upper architrave, saddled with empty seats, canopied
by Ulllbrellas with hanging garlands.
3. The Enlightenlllent is represented, in the middle of the lower, and ex hypo-
thesi in the middle of the upper architrave, by a Bodhi-tree with a
Bodhilllaryqa at its foot, approached by two elephants, one behind the
other. On the middle architrave, too, one can notice a fictitious
representation of a Bodhi-tree of a creepin-s plant of bushy growth,
similarly approached on each side by two leonine animals.
45
178 BARHUT
4. The first Sermon, the Dharmachakraal'ravarttana-Siitra, is represented by
a kind of water-plant in the middle of the upper edge of the upper
architrave, springing from behind a full-blown lotus, with eight shooting
leaves, four. on each side, resembling those of a fern, topping on one
another and ultimately on two lotus-shaped circular petals or small
flowers on the central stalk crowned by a majestic wheel.
5. The Great Decease is represented by a stiipa-model on each of the
three architraves.